Created: 10/1/1980

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The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: Implications for Warning

Interagency Intelligence Mrmorsndi/m

Wwrwrtg ^Notice Sonsilive Irrrcligenee Sc-jj/ei and Methods (VmiHTEl)

NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION Unauthotiied Disclosure Subject to Cr/minal Sanctions

DISSEMINATION CONTROlRekosoble lo FaWtgrt Nottcnek

NOCONTRACT- NotloyCentroclori or

Conlroc'or/Consult onIntorrrionon Irrroh-wl

Dtrportmfcnlt Only

F. if oclion ol Information

Cont'oloo by OW-gInlorthotionn Authorized


Government Information

A mterotkiWeopy ol this document is oioilobb fromdhted copies fromegular receipt ol HfAC reportsthor mkroliche or printed form eon otto be orrr/ood through OCO/RDB.

-lop Secret-SUf-fr



IftfoiimiKn iviiLbkr ji nl0

of llm Mcnaoiindum






A Vt n.8

De vcjopme n


ll lanuary-Junr



IrWeHiceoce Assessment*

C July-September

Intelligence Assesamciatl




E December

Establishment ol Command and Conlrol 26

Mobiliralion ol Ground W

Intelligence W

7 SS


il3 43


Firaal .-



[tilelhgcncc Assessments



A The Command and Control .

Doctiine and

E valual

miintcaliont System

Doctrine and

4 45

C. Awfaofne

Doctrine and





Doctrine and



Doctrine and Practice...



Long Range

Strategic Rocket

Soviet Naval

Evaluation n


Doctrine and

i 11


A. Performance of the Indicator

U. Performance ol the Collection



C Performance of IrUr^igeoce

D. Implications for Warning in Other ,,






A. Doctrine and

8 Warning




Tliii Interagency Intelligence Mcmoi jndum was commissioned by lhc Director of Cent tat Intelligence: in response toequest by the N'jiioiiu! Securityn aisescrnent of the Soviet iiWSJfla cf Afghanistan lo determine if there were any general implications for lhe US war nine system or any lurticular implications for the System'slo wainarsaw Pact move against NATO. No information cutoff dale was specified for this project; information available through0 was used

Thc memorandum was produced under tlic auspices of lheIntelligence Officer for Ceneral Purpose forces f"

coordinated with the

fefenseCenter. Centra| Intelligence



The USSR's invasion of Afghanistan in9are opportunity to test the efficacy of the US warning system ininvolving substantial movements of thc Soviets' armed forcestheir borders. Moreover, ithance lo examine the behavior of thc Soviel military in preparing for such an undertaking and to determine what implications (hu might have (or the Intelligence Community's capacily to provide warning in other situations, especially onearsaw Pact move against NATO.

From the outset, it was recognized lhal lhe conclusions of this study could not be pressed loo far. Both lhc performance of the Intelligence Community in providing warning of the invasion of Afghanistan and the applicability to other theaters of thc lessons learned in thai situation are very much affected by the particular circumstances involved- In contrastoviel move against NATO, the situaUon for which lhe US warning syslem is largely designed, thc invasion of Afghanistan rc-qHiredraction of the USSR's military assets, was not opposed at the outset, did notertainty of confrontation with US forces, and occurredegion where US inlelligence collection eapabililies were limited.

These limitations notwithstanding, lhc examination of the Soviet approach to invading Afghanistan and the Inlelligence Community's success in giving prior noi ice of this event have yielded some valuable lessons:

Despite the unique circumstances surrounding this operation, the Sovicls' behavior was essentially in keeping with USof llieir doctrine for mobilization and the initiation of hostilities. This finding is imporianl because the success of any warning system is dependent on thc extent to which anbehavior conforms to expectations.

Thc system of warning indicators that is set up to delectimportant changes in the Soviet/Warsaw Pact military posturelructured approach tooundbase for the Intelligence Community's conclusion lhal the USSR was preparing lo introduce substaniial forces into Afghanislan. The fact that the System worked in litis unique



situation provides inci cased assurance of ils usefulness in other theaters, particularly in lhe NATO area.

- The US intelligence collection system proved equal to the task of providing analysts with sufficiently detailed, accurate, and timely dala to allow them to reach essentially correctIDOul the military activities in lhc Soviet Union withto Afghanistan. Of particular note was lheof signals and imagery intelligence in this collection effort and the Quality of the data collected, despite limitations on liveavailable.

The Intelligence Community's analysts met iheir basic rcspon-sibililyituation of this sort by providing sufficient prior reporting lo assure that no key policymaker should have been surprised by thc invasion. The analysts were unable to forecast precisely the liming or the size of the Soviets' move, but gave warning at leastays beforcliand that the USSR waslo invade

In conclusion, thc examination of the early phases of lhc Soviet military intervention in Afghanistanasis for greaterin US intelligence estimales of Soviet doctrine with respect lo initialing hostilities and in the capacily of the US Inielligenceto provide warning of such hostilities.

I. INTRODUCTION of Afghanistanihr fini main, doctrine and procedures lor going lo war withao

on. thc prrinvasirm pc-

invasioniod. during which the Soviet,artime footing, gave lhe US Intelligence nily to compare US estimates and studies ol Soviet anxamine fhe rflrciencv

Figure 2

ol iusystem -including ihe validity o! In addition, tlie discussion compares lhelhal aie monitored, lhe operation olof Soviet foicei in Alghanislan with whatsystems, and llw accuracy of lheare eipected lo doar acsinst NATOassessments thai weiewarning indicator* used lo monitorThe initial sections of thisAT0 development* in Afchanistan 10 hen the Marslsts tooknan -Um4Jtm and if not, why not.oup toppled Amin Therecaaminca the performance of vat.ousa discussion of how those cvenls were beingsystems andudgment aboutin US intelligence publicalioni< tune-proved to be .nost productive under tfccKion of the developinc situation includes aFinally, lite usefulness of llieof the increasing involvement of the Sovieton Afghanistan is considered in terms ofwith particular attention lo those aspects ofwarning to lhe policymaker For ihisof Afghanistan thai might improvethe eaaminalion of lhe performance ofof how lhe Sovicls would mobilizeconfined essentially to the written record oftheir forcesar againstassessments published by NFIB memberThe nest section, of the paper dealiscussion of the various kindscombat and -ilh lhc US . it The discussion of combal preparations hr ,bc US hitelllgeoce Communiiythe principal components of lhe Sovietwere not. The paper concludeseriesthat were involved and focuses on aspects ofabout the implications of theand initial operalions In Afahanislanfor lhe capacity of thend iheir usefulness in providinglo provide warning in other theaters.


8 Developments


n8 the ^Moscow Peoples Democratic Patty of Afghanistan (PDPA)oup in lite capital cityabul. The President, Mohammed Daoud.caocuted along withof his family and other senior officials of lheNur Mohammed Taraki assumed llie offices of president and prime minister (seehhouch there was no evidence lhat the Soviet Union had participated in the coup, it moved Quickly to eaploit llie situation Thc'SSR had invested heavily in Afghanistan6 (il among the lopecipients of Sovietnd Soviet politicaland militaiy assislancc increased slsaiplv niter tlie coup

n May 1



l increase in end of May

had increasedersonnel. Many of llrcse advisers were concentrated in lhe Ministry of National Defense inoscow-level delegation headed by Lt Ceneralfrom lhe Ceneralperalions Directorate,ew militaryprotocol with lhc Taraki regime onay

n8 the long-simmering rivaby between the iwo factions ol lhc PDPA flared inlo lhe open. Tlie PDPA had been founded5 but splitParchamnd had only been reunited, at Soviel urging,7 Tlse Parchamists. led bv Babtai Karma!,supcortmall segment of llie educated upper classes in the Kabul area andradualist approach lo building socialism in Afehanistan (seehev


ClMonalosyey Events

IT AmmTi..l. leg.

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Moko.yoJ To.0ll* Wa. IHWoup in


parlicipatcd in lite free elections lhal were held in (lien lhe period of llie monarchy and evena lew seal* lo Parliament TV Khalqta, led bv Taraki, drew iheir support Irom lhe newly emerging middle class in Afghanistan andore conspiratorial approach lo seising power Thevon seeking clandestine recruits among lhe Aflhan military.

In lam tune and8 Taraki. relying on ihc siippoit ol lhe miliiary, moved lomoil of lhe leaden of the Parcham faction, Habrak Karmal was named Ambassador to Prague Tlie Soviets acquiescedhis power play nnd simultaneouslyajor military assistance agreement nnd increased their MAC represcnlalion. The Soviets also sent large numbers of Csvilian advisers lo Afghanistan lo help thc government consolidate ils Sold on power.

Thc Soviets alsoonth later when Taraki moved to eliminate potential rivab in thcas well as the few remaininc PacchamiPs still in the government. When Taraki ordered lhe exiled Parchnmists home in early8 lo face certain imprisonment and possibly even death,(he Soviets gave them safe haven in Eastern Europe

opposition lo thc new governmentafter lhc leftists' takeover amongin the cast, and by lale summer itlo non-Palhan tribes in the northeastespite growing Sovici assistance,Army was unable to suppress theDuring this pciiod. Sovici advisersassigned to Afghan brigades committed loagainst lhc insurgents. Soviet adviser* abotn each of the two commandohe fighting escalated.said lo be in control of large areas of lheeastern pa its of thc counirr and to havequa mil ics of military cquipmenl. Hiecommandei In Oandahar was arrestedthe insurgents, and Taraki was allegedlhat the government did not have thesubdue them Al thbormer Soviel in Afghanistan assessed lhe Afghanas having serious deficiencies and estimatedlarge Soviet militaiy advisory presence would befor several years

8 thc USSK and Afghani-dsn0 year Treaty ulicndship. flood

Neighbornd Cooperation, which obligedlo consul! with one another, to taketo ensure their iccurily. indeiiendcnce,integrity, and lo continue militaryThere was, however, no mutual defenseA Soviet-Afghan treaty signedfghanistan from allowing its territory to beactions inimical to thc USSH and lhe twotheir commitment lo1 treatyoccasion The nevr treaty was lomewhi:itlause specifically endorsingnonalignmcnt and because it did not call oopctatiiin


S inlelli'jcncc returning in the immediate aftermath of ibe coup lhat brought Taraki lo power dealt with whether or not lhe government wouldand with lhe probable nature of thc USSR's icla-lions wiih llie new regime. Il was estimated thai Moscow would help ihe asw. pro-Soviet regime consolidate and retain power, but il was ihousthtlhat Moscow would support any Afghanagainst Pakistan or Iran Alllwughf

TJnd the increased Soviet presence in Afghanistan were both noted as enhancingabilily to intervene in Afghanistan toro-Sowrt regime, il was slated lhat Moscow would seek loituation in which it would need to send its own troops to Afghanistan finally, it was noted that Afghanistan'* relations with it* neighbors. Pilislsa and Iran, and wiih the United States would almost ccitainly decline

the fall8 lhc of Parchamand suspected military dissidents led tothai Taraki'* political base in Ihe countrye'CCSsivcly narrowed. Questions wereIhc reliability of the Afghan Army in viewpoliiical instability in Kabul and lhe growthby Ihe insurgent* The signing of theTreaty In8esture of support by Moscow for the newregime.

9 Developments

9 anotlier high-level Sovietdelegation headed by Ceneral Kiwneisov visited

presumably 'o discuss fuilber Soviet aid In February ihr US Ambaiwdor. Adotph Dnbv wasbv Moslem rlchlwing antigovernriir-iil leiiorists and killed during an attempt by llie Afghan Govern-menl to mcue him The Afghanr onwere accompanied bv Soviel advisersF NC CO

n insurrection broke nul against government lorces inesterncapital and Afghanistan's third largest city The liglitinK was believed to have been spurred byihad or holy war against lhe Tarakimade bv ihree Afghan opposition groups based in Pakistan on9 Civilians carrying Islamic and prcrevol ut ions ry flags attacked ihe Army garrison In Herat, while insurgent activity picked up in nf her purls of Ihe country The fighting in Herat continued foreek before the uprising was quelled. During thc lighting. Sovicis apparently were

singled out as targets by the mobs and as many asl the Soviel advisers were reportedly


-Joo-oecret KUff-

notoiizcd nlle regiment

ank regiment of theotorized Category III tn increased activityin tlie Turkestan MU[ into convoy formations (seeitime, elements of another Category IIIIhe Turkestanhe 5th Guards MUD atwere unusually active Al Kushka. convoyltanks, penonnd earners, and sut>port unitsand moved toward llie border (see ficurcmotor transportitemical defensean air defeme batiery also deployed lo withinkilometers ofAfghan border Inaddilionj^


i high level ofairborne regimentIn the Turkestan MD ll could not bewhether this airborne unil aetivitv was

^Tbc MRDs returnedarrison^ ^Information received laler from an ethnic German reset tier indicated that reservbls from unils other than the divisions al Kushka and Termer had participated in the callups of March ,ind0 in ihis area.

United Kingdom also were accused of liaining Afghan rebels

9 Ceneral Yepuhcv. chief ol lhc Main I'ofiiical Administration in Ihe Soviet Ministry of Defense, visited Kabul,igh-levelwhich included five otherenerals. Ycpishcv rarely travels outside thc Warsaw Pact coun-tiies and when he has done so, il Isas been to bolster troubled Communist regimes with political andadvice and offers of military assistance. On this occasion, Ycpishcv probably had lhe mission of rcaswssinc tlie Afghan political-military situation, of providing guidance on the political indoctrination oi the Afghan armed forces, and of evaluating lhcirand reliability. Ycpishcv warned rresaderu Taraki that Sovid aid to assist in combating lhewas not open ended and lhal the Afghans must take steps to incieasc lhcir own capabilities.visit. Ycpishcv returned to Moscow and apparently repealed that Afghan military officersoor ideological outlook esult of ihis visil. there was an incieasc in the level ol political education and party work both in the Afghan Army and among the general population

In response to thc growing disturbances in Afghanistan. Moscowcries of publicwarningoreign interference in Afghan internal affairs. In articles in Piaoda and In Izvcsllua, the USSR accused Pakistan and China and. In adegree. Iran and Egypt of assisting thc anti-Taraki forces In later ankles, the Uniied States and ihc

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Oy mid-Mayrelations bclwccn lhc Af-glians and lhe Soviets had become aramcwlut strained as lite Afghans ignored Soviet advice io go slowly in iheir cHoris to build socialism in Afghanistan. Ifafkullah Amin. the orgamrcr ol tlic coup andMinister since llie invasion, was particularly beadstlong in ihn regard (seeoreover,oving gradually lo cdee out Prime Minuter Taraki, having added the title ol Vice Prime Minuter in the end of

lly Ihe end of May there were iner rating sign, thai the Soviets already were considering alternatives loaraLi-Aimn regime Their public statements in

- TopHUH-

ol Afghanistan began lo referlw .or Io lhe Afghan people and io make no specific reference lo Taraki oimin Afghan mill Ury officers reported llial lhc Soviets were becoming dissatisfied with lhc Taraki regime because it had alienatedarge segment of the prarmlation According lo these souiccs, the Soviets planned toa more moderate socialist government in the hope this would leadeduction is) antiswavccnment activity. Eiiled Afghan leftist political leaders living in Easlcrn Europe olso reported ihese alleged Soviet plans TIk estles claimed Easi Cerman andsuppoit and said lhal the Soviets had promivt'Clurn lo power of lhe eiileil Parcham faction of llabrak Karma)

l the end of June. Minister-Counselorwas Quoted as saying thai the Afghan situation liad become very difficult for lhe Sovicls He said lhat Moscow had been unable to persuade Taraki and Amin to bring new people into Ihc government and toational from, attributing this failure to Taraki'* stubbornness and reluctance to share power. Taraki apparently had been so thorough in eliminating potential rivals lhat the Soviets could notingle dominant leader of the opposition Saftoncluik said that religiouswas lhe single most impoitant cause of ihc insurgency, since much of lhe Alghan population assumed that Communismas opposedlim

fop SnKI HUfl

iqute ti

efitt Minister ol Dclriu*

riulcxl AliilianitMiiifMivisnl-

IiiumkIwik llie first si* months. ihc level nl insurgency conliiuirtl toarticularly in llie tail anil northeast The Konat Valley. Urgun. Khowsl. and location* eaU of lalaUbad were the must critical areas, In May. and agam innsurgents liec-imc active in the vicinity nl the caiHlal The performance ol Afghan Army units began tn ileelitit: as thcit casually rates grew and as the vert Is devel (heir capacity to cut thr Army's linn nf cnnimu-:n: at-'vi Mylisr faelicotitrr pilnt* aha becanie relut tint io Ht level combat missions because tif i. Ijte The decline in all operations further retinoid thc effectiveness of ihc Afghan Army. In (line thi-uli,am estimated thai lhc govern ment controlled no more lhan one half of lhe iwonln IS MP NCI

n then it ion lhe I'SNIt oun .is-.jiii stepped up its militaiy .isaistame tn hencluded in iho IiiciciimmI flow uf supplies

Hafuuilah Sn.ii. tnrnan Mirastn uiuSri Tinli Irnme Vice

rnniecrneil Tai.ll in9 and became I'rrsldrnl;tilledni'mlier

UiilaoitM ItllM MOI

wereighter aircraft.ind combat as-sauli hehcoptcrs.ip helicopters, lands artillery, small aims.tail surf ace-loan mnulev. andThe ml lui of all thh equipment soon began tothe eapabililies of the Afghan militiis and to deepen its tli-iicridence on Soviet technical utsiilancc. This dependence was already substantialesult nf the regime's wholesale promotion of juninieers if they were sympathetic to Tarakt anduiliad weakened the military control Ur net ure and had increased the nerd for Soviet assistance in liainirsg Afehjns in tlie maintenance and operaliori nl modemlis lhc middlehe number nf Soviet militaiy advisers and technicians was belit-trd lo have grownn mid-lune eightub aircraft liom the Irompoil regiment ul I'.'ii.ui.ito Afghanistan, where thev conducted internal utlieresupply ilisdits from Ilagmin Aiiln-ld (sue figure IU) (SS NENCI


T, Despite ill litis assistance and new equipment, llie

emained lltlrimarily be

cause olpoor leadership and irselfcctive if cop train-iiMj, irudcinuie I. importation, and shortage- of' TKc An Force wai similarly plagued andaving primitive comniunicaliont. inad-equjlily hained operational and malnlrnancc and a slwulagc of adequate niilu-kli Soviet

Couiuclor Safronc'iiib icknowlcdced the deteriorating situationonversation with lhe US Charsje onui insisted lhal (he USSH had no intention of sendingtroops lo Afghanistan He captained lhatove would barn lhe prospects for SALT and llie rxmiion of the Sonet Union in the world Safionchul addedonet intcrvcnlion also would be lad policy in Icruisol Alston internal aliaiis


epotting during 'heonths9 followed lhe growth of the insurgency, lhe deterloralmn of lhe government1 position, snd lhe increase in Sovietas estimated thai lhe crowing feeling of lhe Afghan people that Mars-ism, particularly as represented by thein Government, was anli< Islam and would probably lead lo an accelerated deterioration of lhe moralee Afghan Army. It was noted tliat the growth of Soviet aid would entail an Increase lit tin; Soviet military presence but that the Soviets still would prefer toolilical solution to llie government"sIt was judged thai their first choice would bc lo broaden the base of support for Taraki by including more dements of Afghan society in the regime.that, it was believed that the Soviets wouldakeover of lhe governmentew leader who would be more acceptable than Taraki Considerationakeover figure acceptable to Ihe Soviets ranged from military officersember of tlie purged Parcham faction (such ai Rabiakut the latler option was liehevcd lo be unlikelyarcham leader would have no more broadbascd an appeal than Taiakimin

he possibility ol Soviet military intervention was addressed and through9 was considered to be unlikely. An article in lhe National Intelligence Deify (NID) on9 stated

Tlie Soviets would be most reluctant toUrge numbers of ground lorces into Afghanistan to keep in power an Afghanthai had lost the support of vuiuallr allof the population Not only wouldem selves in an awkward morass in Afghanistan, but their actions could seriously damage their relations with India,ore likely option, tin? Soviets probably could seek to reestablish, tics with those members ol the Afghan opposition wiih whom Moscow has dealt profitably in the past.

A NlDartkleonsowever. observed that ihere were arguments lhal might prompt some Soviet leadersecommend moving com bal iroops into Afghanistan Chief among these arguments were

Taraki and Amin were ideological brotheis lo lhe leaden

hc loss of Afghanistan, coming so soon after Soviet inactivity duringo-Vietnamese conflict, wouldevere blow tonternational prestige

A failure lo respond might lead to lhe creation of an arc of mibtantly Islamic states on theouthern bordeis and might threaten Sovietof its Central Asian ie publics

e political and economic costs of intervening would not bc great, certainly loss than thc cost of supporting far-off Cuba and Vietnam.

n (lie othci hand, lhc article included countersleumcrili which, on balance, led lhelo lhe conclusioniliiary intervention would bc unlikely. Among these were the assertions (hat:

An inter vent Ion would make (he insurgents more determined and would therdore require amilitary involvemenl.

Airborne divisions might be able to seize Kabul, bul eventually additional forces would beto stabihte ihe situation elsewhere in the


Afghanistan's mountainous terrain and limited road system would coinplicale large-scale ground operations Routes from the USSR lo Afghan cities passed through territory where thcwere active.

The. political coslt would be loo high. It would threaten llie prospects for ratification of SALT II in the US Senate, ll could cause Moscow to lose substantially In tlse Muslim world and in India. The Chinese wouldield day exploiting Such convincing proof of Soviet "eipansionist hcgernon.iloh rec lives

lthough ihe possibilityoviet military moveuled out, Inielligence Community assessments generally shared lhe view lhal, fromstarsdpoint. lhe risks of an inlerventioa would outweigh lhe gains Hits judgment, coupled withSoviethat lhe USSR would notprobably ledeneral consensus among US inlelticcncc consumers during lhc (list half9ilitary intervention was still unlikely


C.9 Developments

early July tlie Soviet Union deployed1 itscombat troops tonit ofmen was sent to ItaRram Airfield north ofto provide base security (secajor supply point for Soviet armsand trie locationovietorce, which ti'ai believed by most to be aninfantry battalion, svas not known to beoperations against thc insurgents!


July to9 tliectivity continued to grow and thc area ofcontrolled by the government continued lo

shrink. The principal imuigciil pressure was exerted in the east and northeast. The insurgents routinely cut major roads, causing serious resupply problems for the Afghan Army, and many units became dependent on resupply by air. Several major towns were surrounded by the insurgents with little government effort tothem. Mutinies occurred among Army units in Kabul, in tlse Konar Valley, and other locations.among government forces continued to decline because of the increasing success of the insurgents,of llieir Soviet advisers, severe shortages ofand munitions, the purges of officers, and lhesituation in Kabul. The insurgents were able to capture large (iiianlilics of tveapons and ammunition destined lor Afghan Army units.

n response to thc deteriorating securitylbc Sovicls continued to increase their shipments

--iesroeoel ftUf f-


o( sum and loote diced role in the fighting. In addition lo lhe visits of hich-iankinc olficera. lhe Sovietstchttv equipped aiibornc battalion to Dagram and increased their flight activities. Thebecame more deeply involved in guiding Afghan combal opera Horn, as well as in logistics andSovici helicopter pilots, for eaample. resort -rdly flew with Afghan copilots to conduct strikeagainst the insurgents. The role of the Soviets reportedly was changedere advisory one to active participationide variety of activities, including logistics and combat planning as lar do-i. as some regimental and battalion-teed units. Soviet lank personnel also were reported as participating inoperations. This did not halt the decline In Ihe pctformancc of llie Afghan Army, although ihcof Ihe Soviet advises apparently provided an essential measure of continuity and stabiUty lo lhecommand sliucture


I. C. iWowtiV, Oiid ul Sovici Cioorid Fcea. vUiio) Alilianinin Irom Aucuit la October.


ugust elements of an Afghan Anny unit at the Ha la llissar gatrtson in Kabul mutinied against llie government. Although llie mutiny was soon put down by troops loyul to Taraki and Amin, thecoming on loo of ihe decline in securityin lhe country, apparently prompted Moacow lo dispilch yet another high-ranking military delegation lo Kli. On0 Cen Ivan Pavlovskiy. Commander in Chief ol Soviet Cruund forces, arrived in Kabul at lhe headarge Sovici military dctcga-lion includingther generals and sla colonels (seelie group remained in Afghanistan lor Iwoiiand. according lo Afghan sourres. its puipose was "to study lhe ailualion" and lo sign mtrcciticnls with Afghan officers US inlelligence repoilcd ai lhc

timeisit bvrestigious delegation sug-ECited lhal lhc Sovicls wereecision regarding further Support for thc Taraki regime More Spccili-cally. Pavlovskiy's mission was lliouglit lo I* to pro-vide an oii-lhe-spot assessment of lhe Afglianiability and lo make rccornmcndalions concerning Moscow's next move. ^


ie lavl week in August and the firsteptember, increased military activity was noted again in Soviet units staiioned in tl* Turkestan MD (sec paragraphhe gnnison ofead-nuaiters ol theCuardt Molnrired Itifle Division (CMHU)ilometers north of llie Afghan bordei, was unusually active amimeni Irom the division was seen on lailcais amiearby railyaid


Portions ol thiv Category III division, includingol one tank battalion, an antiaircraft artilleryortar battery, and trucks, had apt>atently left tbc garrison. It was assumed thc unit was heading north to conduct field eaercises in Iraining areas within the Turkestan MD.

9 artillery piecesmoversatlallon of HMD

Airfield (see. Thc HMDelatively lightweight vehicle which up lo lhat lime was associated with airborne forces, and the

palletisation ol these vehicles Suggested preparation for air movement. Thc equipment probably belonged to elements olth CAD, statiuncd nearby.

"}ll wa; estimated that thcrepresented training on specific techniques for loading thcarger and more advanced tram-


port than lhehai normally supported lhc lOSlh GAD.

Oneptember President Taraki slopped olf in Moscow en route home fromnonalimed summit in Havana and reportedly discussed with President Breihnev his plans lo* replacing Amin9 Piime Minister Amin, foilinc plans lo replace him, emerged as ihe new leader u( lhe Afghan Cov-rrnmen'. srd lhe "copies Democratic Partyoup in which President Taraki was killed. Bv seizing power and eliminating lhe pro-Taiaki elements in the Klialqmin further narrowed lhe regime's base uf lupport.^



regiment had been moved into convoy formation in probable preparation for deploymentJ"ormationMDsightweight assault cunt also associated with airborneseen at Fergana Airfield. Significant activity was also observed at thend Osh regimental garrisons olth CAI) (sec. Al Chirchik.MDs were in convoy formation and lhc airborne artillery battalion, whose equipment was normally ia storage, wsi in the open with its artillery pieces attached to prime movers At Osh. equipment Vat moved from Its'normal locationore central area of lhe CAD

-Ior* Secier -

Kirovsbad in tlie Transeaucasus MD, and lhe 9Slh CAD in Isolgrad in the Odessa MD, -ere alio noted ai bciiiK involved in increased activity. Therelurry of Soviet reaction irnmedialelr lollopingcoup. Kcports, which later proved to bc unfounded, were received lhal upoviet iroops were in Kabul with the mission ot providing security lor Soviet facilities ami personnel


TOcicrfacr confirmed lhat units had returned i0 nor mal ocoturcs and lhat the alert had been Ic.minatul

he increased activity atth CAD. and poaiblvthh CADs. continued^

* Alsoiul, rjMAO.


ntelligence rciiorltnc during lhe third rjuarter9 dwelt primarily with tic future o( lhe Tsrali-Amtn regime, lhe Soviets" possible polilicalnd lhc significance of the September aleri of the lOSthCAD The Soviets were described as Wing dii'alisfied ivith the reclines inability either lo cope wiih llie iniuigency O* lo cornolidale power in Kabul, and ihcte was speculationac Soviets wiiiild allempl lo repbee the slill uncooperative Amin. It was reported lhal if lhe TaiaLi regime wai unable lo broaden Us conirol byUnited Nationalhe Soviets wovhlewa military Mi-iiiember ol the called Pordiam lae-


lion- Thc Cabinet dial cud* al the end of July, in which Taraki had assumed direct command ol lhc armed lorces and Amin had become Minister ol Nationalwas interpreted as evidence lhat Taraki and Amin had bemmc aware ul Sovici intentions and had laken steps to strengthen llieir hold on the Afghan military By ibe beginning of September it wasthat tlse Soviets apparently had given up llieir previous efforts to replace Taraki aad Annn and had decided tolitem bv infusions of aid and sdvii-


hc Intelligence Community continuedlmatc thai the chancesajor movement of Soviet military forces into Alghjnnlan were unkkcly in the near term Therehift of emphasis in il) report-ing. however, as the continuing deterioration of Afghanistan's interna! security situation and llie apparent incf fee live nets of Moscow's political andassistance led analysts lo ciamine lie ranee of direct military Options Oncri lo lbc USSH

he increased military activity in thethe lOSth CAD in lhe Turkestan MD inthe first intelligence assessments llieUnion might be incparing to committoD item onie activity at Fergana as posublywrn'lav>

however, that "Wc cannoi calcgorically rule out lhe possibilityaradrop into Afghanistan, altliough an ait landing would be much more likely."


J :


he growth ol Soviet activity from June to Septemberatter oi growing concern lo aof intelligence analystsesult of then efforts, lhc Diieclor of Central Intelligence publishes! an Alcit Memorandum entitled ienii ran on 9 The Alcri Memorandum warned lhat (lie Soviets may have been giving serious corn-deration lo lhe introduction of small combal units into Afghani slnn. The key pieces of evidence supporting ihiswere Ihe visit of Cenetal Pavlovskiy, thc in ceased number of Soviet advisers, ihc diiccl Soi'ICI

involvement in combat, combal support, and combal support opciations. and the unconfirmed re-ponsO0 Soviet troops in

"TMtUongh analysis law no evidencearge-scale ground force intervention, llie Alert Memorandum conclude!

ipanding thc levelsell ownIn Afghanistan, thereanger lhal theottheir own stoke in lhe ultimate outcome, making il increasinc'v difficultem lo resist raising the level of their participation still another notch thould tliey fed it necessary

n Interagency Intelligence Memorandum (MMI. Sooiei Optionshanufen, published on ISiscussion of ll* ways in winch llie Soviet leaden could in^ease ihcir military support -

Increased cquipmenl and advisers. Theof trained Afghan manpower would renuirc Sonet advisers toore oalensive role in combal and air support activities.

of combat support and combal service support units. This would provide lbc Afghan Army wiih Soviet-manned allackand additional logistic snd maintenance unili lo enliance the Afghan combal reach and effectiveness

intervention wiih Soviet combat units. This option svould involve deploymentimited number of units, inchew battalions, upnd including one or two an borne divisionselp Stiffen Afghan Army resolve or lo provide security for key cities or critical points. Bcfotc taking this option, ihe Soviets would have In weigh whether their increased combal presence would alienate rather than bolster thc Afghan armed forces

Massive Sovici miliiary intervention. Am tiling beyond the securing of Kabul or some olher kev cityew critical points would require (It commitment of largo numbers of tegular giound forcesotentially open ended operation An overland move lo Kabul, particularly wiih ilic

of Afghan Army and insurgentwoulduhidi visional open tun cihauiting tbe resources of ibe Turkestann operalion of thb magnitude would therefore require the redeployment of forces and thetr supporting elements from western and central military districts, in addition to those near the Soviel-AIghan border.

he alert ofth CAD after the Amio coup in mid-September was judged in the IIM tooviet contingency preparationove into Afghanistan It stated:

At the same lime, the Soviets have seemed ready to act decisively la preserve security inif lhe new situation there should rapidly deteriorate.!

_|jThe Soviets mly fear lhat Amin's coup might provoke fighting within the Afghan Armyreakdown of control in Kabul. In this event, the Soviels arc probably prepared to deploy one or more Soviet airborne divisions lo Ihe Kabul vicinity lo protect Soviets already there as well as to ensure continuanceroSovict regime in ihe capital. We believe it likdy that we would promptlyeployment of Soviet forces on this scale. Wc do not believe lhat the Soviets would intendeploymenl forighting against the Muslim insurgency, although it ii not impossible that, once in Afghanistan, such Soviet airborne forces could eventually bc drawn into fighting

The IIM concluded lhal llie Soviets wouldthdr dforts to assist lhe Afghan regime in defrating tlie insurgents It staled thai il more military steps were needed, Moscow would be likely to lake them incrementally rather ihan dramatically. It noted lhal the USSH would be unwilling to pay Ihe political and military costsajor military inlcivcnt'on, but that the chances ofove would be increased under lhe follow ins; situations

Prolonged political chaos.

The prospect or advent of an anti-Soviet regime.

Foreign military Intervention

D-9 Developments

uring the months of October and November, lhe Afghan regimeo be buffeted by an increase in insurgent activity and concernedrogressive weakening of the armed forces. Tlteconducted operations throughout most of the country, but concentrated on interdicl'ng supply lines Innd gaiiisoris. Alincks along lhe majorincreased and traffic on lhc roads linking Kabul with Herat and Qandahar had lo travel in convoys protected by armoredco these convoys were attacked, however, and the government was forced to rely, more heavily on resupply ing isolated garrisons by air. In addition, insurgent activity within Afghan cities became more widespread and the flgiit-ing in northeastern Afghanistan was paiiicularly heavy.

hc insurgents' roccesio In the countryside and their growing ability to mount harassment attackscities worsened lhe already low morale offorces Continuing purges of Ihe officer corps and replarcmcnts of key personnel resulted in severe leadership problemsor.iequcnce,wai forced to reinstate some junior officers who had been purged after lhe8 coup. The Army wai also facedotentially serious manpower

shortage, as the aiea from which the

could draw iccruits grew smaller

lic government was able to make progress against lhe insurgents only in tliose areas where the Soviets look complete conirol of combat operations and moved In massive amounts of weapons. At thc end of October lhe Afghan Army launched an offensive in several areas, probably wiih the hope of improving Its position prim to tlic onset ol winter. The operation was successful in Paktb Province, where the threat to two beleaguered garrisons was reduced, and0 insurgents, according, to Pakistani sources were driven across the border.

frhe success ot this operation wasto eiiensive Soviet involve menl in both combat and comhal sunoorl units down lo the battalion level.

n article in DlA's Weeity /nldAgeiure Sum-mariy9 described the Soviet role in Afghanistan in this way;

Without Soviet support, the Army would have cnllapted long agooviet advisers are

.Sac n


lor recent irnprovcmcnl* that have begun la stabilize thc security situation in some areas. Tbe Soviets largely control Digram Air Base, and Ibey probably have some security personnel as well at Bagram and Kabul- Inthev arc the backbone of Afghanistan'ssystem, as they maintain all technicaland provide massive ouaritities of supplies and other equipment. Training has been provided both in Afghanistan and the USSR. Although lhe USSR's warmth (or thc political leadership has ebbed and flowed, ils suppori for llie revolution remains strong.

he increasing importance of the Sovietcommitment lo Afglianistan wasec led by the upgrading in November of the positions of chief of the MAC and military attache. Col Cen.en. Corclov as the chief of the MAC and Mai Cen. Krakhamakov replaced Colonel Tlaranaev as the military attache. Magemelov andther advisers conducted seminars at thc presidential palace bclween II andNovember for senior Afghan officials to discussoperations during Ihc

Thc Soviet Union continued to be dissatisfied with Amin. Inoviet officialiddle East diplomat that Amin was despised by his people for his past excesses and thai lie was loo ruthless in trying toiable regime. Thc, although thc USSR would continue to provide military ad>*iscrs and materiel to Afehanistan, it was trying lo identify an alternate leader, possibly someone not associated wiih thc present government. Amin was aware of ibis effort and hc feared thaiwhich had tried to eliminate him in September,Iry again. Amin attempted toore moderate stance on domestic and policies in order io gain Soviet support.

On IS9 elements uf the Afghan 7th Infantry Division at Klshkor.ilometers soulh ol Kabul, mutinied and engaged in intense andcombat wiih loyal militaiy forces This was thc first maior (esl ol Arnins control of Ihe aimed loicci since his coup in September. After several days offighting, lhc mutiny was defeated Tlve revolt had been caused bv an announcement of thc involuntary extension of (he term ol service of Afghan conscripts. The mutiny so near Kabul seemed lo alarmumber ol inline steps were taken shortly thereafter.



he mutiny also mav have been the reasonalerting of elements ofth CAD regiments at

Gun?hik and al Fen-ana wereither stalecarriers

and supporting equipment were In convoy forrrutions. Ahliough lhe unils may have reduced theirew days in mid-November, theyal an overall increased readiness level from mid-October through December.


ncreased aciivity svas also noted In some of the ground divisions in thc Turkestan MD during October.


Intelligence Assessments

hereharp reduction in intelligence reporting on Afghanistan during October amiThe Intelligence Community's preoccupation wiih events in Iran may have been responsible Ior the decline- lint in view ol lhe substantial number ofdealing with likely Soviet actions or oplions in Afghanistan published in prior months, and since the situation in the country liad not changed to any great degree, ihcre may not have been any compelling tea' son to rcslalc these pteviouS assessmc.nls. Despite thc reduction in intelligence estimates, current iiitcl-


reporting didumber of osscssmcnls of developments during October and November. Tin's reporting continued to reflect tbe Soviet interest ineplacement for Amin. It also noted that il thc coming winter were mild, the insurgents probably svould bc ableontinue to cut supply lines, to mount harassment and propaganda operations inside cities, and to increase their hold in the countryside- It also was reported, however, that tlie eflectlvcncss of thc imurgculs won't! !lmi!cu Uy Sheofamong various insurgent groups and by lhcirto receive external assistance. With ils growing problems, the Afghan Army was seen as being likely to continue lo suffer from disaffection, mutinies, and dcscrlinns.

S intelligence reports contained judgments lhat lire serious revolt by elements of the Kabulcmctober had given tlic Soviets graveover the Stability of tlie Amin rdmr and the safety of Soviet ocrsonnil in the country.t

J3he alerting of ihe lOSlh CAD. and possibly thc increased activity in three ol theof the Turkestan MD (Slli. lOSth. SSthere linkedeneral way to tlic mutiny in Kabul and to subsequent Soviet actions. This linkage,was not made strongly. Tlie most widely shared explanation for tlic Soviets'actions was concern for the safety of lhcir personnel, ll was also suggested that the hostage situation in Iran and Soviet apprchciuiou about some US military reaction mighl have been the reason for the increased activity.

E.9 Developments

Gl. During December, insurgent activity against the government continuedigh level. Some of the heaviest fighting occurred in llie cast, where tlicconducted frequent bombing missions. Thc insurgents again mounted operations in I'aklialess than two months aftei offensive there Insuigcnl activity contimicd throughout most of the rest of lhe couiiliy, particularly along major road* and in the arcs Surruu riding Herat. Qandahar. and lta mini TheOperated freely around Bagram Airbase, soniciloiilCICiS fiOin the capital, despite governmeni offensives in lite area Elscwln-rc. insurgents controlled

mosi of fsadakhshan Piqvmee on ihc Soviet border and threatened theold on tlic provincial capital. Army unils there were seriously under Strength, morale was low, and some forces refused lo fighl.e insurgents, evidently with lhc help ol some former Army officers, used heavy weapons capluied fiOrn retreating government foices.

G2 Thc insurgents also threatened provincialin western arid central Afghanistan Fighting moved closer to the capitalrovince, and most of Chowr and Oruzgan Provinces reportedly were controlled by tlichortage ofhelicopters harnticrcd reinforcement of critical areas. The governmeni tried lo stem deseilions by ordering Army units throughout the country loinformation on the families of deserters so tliat action could be taken against them. Thc Army also transferred some troops out of their home districts to keep ihem from returning lo lhcir villages In an effort lo increase the manpower pool from which the Army could draw, ihc government lowered the draft age fromoarly in December and stopped issuing passportsraft-aged males. Kabul also began toincreased salaries lo dischargedhcir own villages This program apparently was designed lo free regular Army units fur combat clsc-ivliere arid to diiiein^en former soldiers from ioining


mcntsecond Soviet airborne battalion had been moved lo Bagraui Airhuse. Nineteen HMDs, lhc lightweight armored infantry vehicles used bv Soviet airborne lorcesC

_jhad been airlillcd to Digram, probably in sixock heavy

that the unit at bagram had eurne fromth CaD and that additional forces were beinglor rnovemenl.


anotTicr airborne Eoiulion had been introducetMscctrr assessments indicated lhal theHoops were from" CaDJ]^

hc iixivriiieni ol ihr. airborne battalion to llagram In early December and llie preparation ol additional lorces norlh ol lhc border wis assessedll> arltcleecember as conslilulincoviet responseicjtcr threat alamove lo provide better security il* Soviet personnel had to evacuate lhc couniry- DIAel cose Inlelligence Note (DIN) that pointedajor rebel offensive in llierth of Kabul and lo the p'ob-ing ofiii's defensive ncriinctei in IaU Nv.-iiibcr as possible reason* fur lhc Soviet move. The DIN also included the iiidtunciit lliatallalion-sixcd


-loc-Secrct fiWf-

would have little overall miliiary significance, the movement of the unil woulde viewed at Soviet intervention when il became knownIt concluded

ThU significant cscalalion suggest! the rebel ihreal is perceived in Moscow and presumably Kabul as bring greater than our reportingor perhaps lhat long-term Soviet planning is only nowo fruilion. Mosl importsnlly. however, it demonstrates Moscow's resolve in puisuing in inlcrcats in Afghsnntan despite lhe obvious piilalls andime when llie Kremlin mighl consider lhe US preoccupied wiih events in Tehran

be Overthrown bv Mariist or miliiary opponents wiih littlet is also possible, allhough much more speculative, that lhc Sovicl airborne and moloriicd rifle? elements now at Dagiam are merely the first incrementuch largerforce lhal may be deployed lo Afghanistan during lhc coming year.orce, which could eventually include several Sovicl combat divisions, may be called for under long-term plans worked out by Army Cen Pavlovskiyhis prolonged visit to Afghanistan thisll is nut certain whether Moscow has embarked on such a plan, but the possibility cannot be discounted For lhc preseni, il is clear lhc Soviets haveualitativein their military presence and capabilities in Afghanistan, enabling them to carry out any or all of lhe four missions outlined above.

Establishment o( Command ond Controlons

ecember the NIDeport that Ihe move of forces to Dagrarn could be intended lo upcrade the defenses al Dagram. or it could be "indicativeecision by the Soviets to increase their military commitment in AfghanistannIN included an assessment thai lheof Soviet units at Dagram was lo provide security (or llie base,imited combat rnle in ihe vicinity io Improve llie securily of tlie areasurrounding lhe base,uick-reaction force (or meeting limited curnbat and securityelsewhere in the country, and assist in thc evacuation ol Soviet personnel, if required. The DIN also offered llie view that;

The arrival of llaese units signals grcaier Soviet concern for developments in AfghaniUsn ihan previously noted Over ibe past several months, unusual military activity by Soviet unils north of Afghanistan haseliable indicator ofo( "nubility in Afghanistan, even.In lhe absence additional information. I

[fot itnstability is chronic in Kabul and lias intensified since President Ainin's takeover. Although no such move is nown hi be imminent or under way, Amin could I





Mobiliio'iun ol Ground facet


uring the spring and falllie twoIII motorized (iflc divisions closest to lite Afghan border in the Turkcata* MD (Sth CMftD snd lOSlli MRD) had been cncicinc in an increased level of battalion' and rccimental-level training. Toward ibe end of November and lhe beginning of December, both divisions started mobilization activity. Although tliey probably encaged in their mobilization and prc-deplovrncnt activities for at leastays, the period of conccntialed mobilization. Including the raising of manning levels to wartime strength and tlicof vehicles and equipment, occurred from5 December

T th MflD at Termeet

bad left garrison, with only the FHOCace missile (SSM) battalion remaining.^

miioi elemenis or tne 5th CMHD also had deployed Tram their garrisons to dupcrul areas in tlte foothills Surrounding theof Kushka (seewo lank baltaltons plus support units were observed. Of particular interest

supply (nc ays of combat op-

"^petroleum bladders.

division win. lufficient fuel foralioru.

n Other aclivityj"

^train was reported la be enrrving river crooinc equipment.

(train carrying lhe bridgingwas onloaSed a:urface-to air missile (SAJvlTuallalion

(deployed to an atco north of Termer. Other troop Inoveinenla


* Ilicie(wool msliiliulion Jiviiioiu. Tlwie eelocacd

wiili leuve diviiiom ur eatlod Koand-crotfiiion mobiluKJoa di-

lliw noi enlocilcd "le alto!Caere mobttiu-




airborneand tailored to specific operational


Dcccmbcr mobilization of Soviet forces on the*Afghan border clearly wai under way, and lhe assembling ol airborne troops and cxiuipmcnl at three airfields injlic Moscow and Belorussian MDs was in progress


inalysis indicalcd thai il was inround allack unit. elements ol which later inlo "

nother indication that activity by thc airborne troops was under way. or soon would be,




rior to the invasion of Afghanistan. Soviciair assets north nf the Afghan border normally corisisted of only one fighter rccimcn! oflshbeds. one ground attack regiment of SU-I7 Filters andishbeds. and one helicopter transport, regimem ofooks andips. The firstthat the Soviets were planning to deployair niseis into Afghanistan sverc notedDecember, f


The involve-subsequenlly

eastern USSR was necessary because thc Sovietshad only one regiment ofubs deployed near the Afghan border.

s previously noted (sec. onebait3lion, probably fromth CuardsDivision at Fergana (Turkeslan MD) was air-lificd into Digram j

helicopter strength gtew bv at least four aitack and* transport SQuadrons at KokaylyDIA look note ol this development onecember and estimated lhat preparations wereway for possible heliborne combal operations into Afghanistan Fixed-wins assets forcround attack were


Brewer lighl bompcrs. norma llybascd at lliysk in

Central Asia^ were deployed toin SU-I7 Fitter filthier-bomber regiment

Irom Zcmi-Kedi in thc Transcaucasus MD deployed to

Mary North Airfield/^

y mid-Doceinbcr, VTA support for thephase of lhe mobilization was under way.


D-:cembcr the Stride MICishbed regiment normally based al Kokayly Airfield was aire mcntedecond Thc new [cgimcni probably carne from Chi'chik and was previously assessed loraining mission.


Jon-over ei -


jllbilB Til IJ1

transport lliitht activity i" llie bolder area continued

^jThii activityall three aircraft lypei associated with lhc VJA. thcubi.ocli, anddidt (see


he movement of Soviet forces intohe preparation of additional forces north of the bolder were interpreted bv the US Intelligence Community ai preparations for possible Soviet combat Operations in Afghanistan Onecember, after the discovery of the third airborne battalion al Bagram. DsjA briefed Ihe Chairman of Ihe Jomi Chiefs of Staff:

The piesent upmigc in Soviet ground and ail activity probablyigh level decision to deploy Soviet combat forces to Afghanistan (or hc following .'e

Augmentation of Ihc Afghan militaiyto assist ni stabilizing tlse siluation.

'lovide icdiulv for Soviet nationals and Sovici support Operations.

oviet mililaiv iufraslrucliire lo supiiori Soviet enmbat forces.

To date. Moscow perceives it has eahauited op lions short of military intervention and has no* moved to establish an increased miliiary presence wiih combat forces in Afghanistan to stabilixc rhe situation


ilu Indications Status flepcriarning summary disseminated to all commands, the various Soviet moves were characterized in these terms: "All ol the above suggests the USSR tslhc size of ils military force in and near Afghani-Stan.'

n ISID article on the Soviet buildup contained the following judgments:

The Soviets continue to build up their military 'orccs in and opposite Afghanistan, suggesting that lhc USSR is preparing lo mount combal op-


laji-Seerel ItUH

in Afghanistan TKr Soviet buildup appears lo bclanned deploymenl program,nsult olduy mission to Afghanistan by Sovicl Cliic! ol Cround Forces Ccricial Pavlovskiy tinslicse Sovicl miliiary moves appear lo bc in icad ion to tlic continuing deterioration nf llie military Situation in Afghanistan Wc have no evidence lhat lhc units have engaged in combat alterations as yet. buti"li clearly arr vetting inlo rvuilion lo conduct such actions Wc continue to believe lhat for tlic moment, (lie Soviets are resignedoil -ing veith rrcsidertt Amm. even ibowgh ihere are signs of strain in thc relationship.

n theX-ccmbct NID a* article prompted by lhc discovery of further logiMK preparalions at Kiuhka and rrlaled developmenls co.illined these judgments

Continued Soviet miliiary activity in lhcMilitary Disliirt and llie pie-posiiioningand other luel stockpiles near lhesuggest that the Soviels are preparingforce for possible combatinpresence ol such a

large stock of petroleum products along one of thc lew good roads in Afghanistan also suggests lhat Kushka may be usedtaging area (ormilitary lorces. Kushka is linked by railmost of the divisions in lhe TurkestanDistrict

SA. Onecember lhe DCI piiWishcd his second Alert Memorandum on Afghanistan (The fiisi had been issued ont warned:

The USSlt lias lignilicaMh/ changed ibe nature of its military commitment in Afghanistan and is now capable of conducting mutlibailabon combat ope'a iromhe buildup of. and ground forces and logistic Stockshe Soviel-Afghan border sogers', ii.ugmentationikely soon, and lhat preparationsuch more substantialmay also bc under way

Tlie Aleit Memorandum also estimated, however, thai lhe Soviets were not in any great rush lo mobilize lhcir (orccs.

The pace of Soviel deployments in recent waktrVl does not MingeM lhal ihe SovieU are

responding to what llicv Perceiveime-ur-gem eoiilingejicy, but rather that ihey arcto (lie continuing dctci ioiation of the security situation in Afghanistan. The deployments and buildups may reflect the recommendations of the0 rnissiuu ol Soviet Ceneral Pavlovskiy lo Kabul implemented in the light ol an updated assessment uf the situation

SS. Aflcr availingKcbabEef the forces at Bagram and on ihe border, lhc memorandum concluded wiih lhc judgment that if the Soviets planned to engage live insurgents throughout lhca much greater force would be required:

inimum the Soviets have nowa capability to defend Dagram as an airhead They could hold other key points, engage insurgents in selected provinces, or free Afghan Army units for operations elsewhere if tlieyforces of ihc size now being built up near lhe bonlei. To conduct extensive -anti-insu'gen: operationsountrywide scale would require mobilization and commitment of much b'gc numbers of icgular ground forces drawn from other military districts in 1open-ended Operation.

Political Developments

SG Soviet public statements during thc month of December reaffirmed Moscow's support (or ihe pro-Soviet regime in Kabul, if not for Aminand dented any Soviet plans to introduce combat forces into Afghanistan. On the occasion o( the first anniversary of thc Soviet-Afghan friendship treatyecember, the USSlt acknowledged thai il wasthe miliiary commitments encompassed in the treaty. It rejected Western charges of Soviet military intervention and participation in operations against "counterrevolutionaries" inASSon the anniversary promised continuedcooperation based on the previous agreements and went beyond thc treaty in referring to "conduct-ins rami measures lo ensure llie securily.and territorial integrity of bolh countries. Thc statements again raised the question of Moscow's iCi* CivaiiOnS concerning Prime Minister Annus political fuiure They lailed lo make any mention ol specific aid or support as might Ih- appropriate lo thr occasion. In comn<i. in Sei>lemhi-i when Brezhnev had ro-

esident faraki. the Soviet favorite, inhc had offered assurances that the "Afghancould count on the USSR's "ill-round and unselfishn anecember broadcast to Kabul, lhc Soviets indirectly rcsiionded to Western mediaol increased Soviet miliiary activiUes in and near Afghanistan Tliey branded Weslern "propaganda- as hostile, claimed that AfghanSoviet relations were based on complete noninleifer co-re. deniedperspatarvia" or. "imaginary Sovici units."other foreign powers of intcifoing in Afghani-Stan.

noviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs official, in an attempt lo mblead international opinion, said lhal reportsecent Soviet buildup in Afghanistan were fabrications by "someho opposed the Afghan revolution. Heecline in Soviet press coverage of Afglianistan in rcccni montlts. repeated chaiges ol interference by Pakistan and other countries in Algltan affairs, and noted an "improvement" in Afghanistan's relations with its neighbors According lo this official, llicre had been no change in Soviet-Afghan relations since Taraki's fall, and the Soviets would accept any leaders chosen bv lheiaoda article onecember echoed lhe same theme*

Western, and particularly American, masshave recently been disseminating deliberately inspired rumors about some sort of SovietIn Afghanistan's internal affairs- Tilings have even gotten as far as allegations lhal Soviet "combat units" have been introduced in Afghan territory. Of course these rcpicsent the most Iramiutenl fabrications

Finol Preporolions

SS Ryecember thc mobilization of the giound and air units in the Turkestan MD and of the airborne elements in the liuropcan USSR apparently liad been accomplished.


y this lime, thc airborne troops assembled at Smolensk, Shatalovo. and Scshcha also had completed their preparations."^


yecember the Soviets probably began to notify forces other tlian those eapeeted la be direclly involved in lhc invasion jj_

he flagship of lire SovietOcean Squadron had begun to deploy lo thc northern Arabian Sea. ll had probably reached its in-tended posilion by midday oneeemltcA


he airborne farces assembled lor ihc airliftelements fromrd CAD at Vitebsk andth CAD at

|Apparenllv, lhc Soviets decided lo COnducl the airliiT of troops to the sinning areas iu the Turkestan MO from the airfields at Vitebsk and Scshcha. The equipment accumulated al Shalalovo and Smolensk was probably to be llown (rom ihese airfields.

had picviutislv de-

ployedlie Kabul and Oagram areas


he large scale airlifl of Soviet cnmbal forces into Afghanistan

December. Dy the early morning ofcecmucrf_


'TA transports had Waged from biscs in (he SSIl'to the Afghan border area (seellcr

flew into Kabul and Itagrani during the nightecember By the lime these first transport* began arriving in Afglianistan there alreadya siralslc Soviet force deployed al these airfields Ii consisted of_ at least two battalions ofth CaD j

vccinbcr, large numbers

of VTATransnorts, escorted at least as Jar as the bnrdcr by fighter aircraft, began flying Iroops and equipment inin llie area of Kabul and flagram (secimilar, but smaller, airlifl may liave been occurring al lhe same time in western Afghanistan at Shiridand. Tlie airlifl of troops and equipment continued through


imp mtWTWM ftUff

" cquietneM belnc unloaded alAirport In late9


ndecember, thoughmaller numbers thanecember. Thereignificant reduction in the number of transports going into Afghanistan byecember. In all, we believe there wereTA flights duringecember period

InleliQence Assessments


lilcTup at

Intelligencethe final buildup of Soviet forces whichin the airlift Into Kabul and Bagram. Ilimmediately dear, however, when, how. orAfghanistan tlie Soviets would utilize the forcesassembled. Byecember,IDestimated that the Soviets "may haveof thdr preparations for further militaryInhat thisthe Soviets arc pUrl*rfing an operation thatSoviet forces moving south toward Kabul"


entitled MtfjOrTowet AW Inlo AfghanistanIt-

^concludedaior movement of Soviel forces into Afghanistan was imminenl Onecembct thc DCI issued lhc third9 on Afghanistan. It warned thai thehad completed prorations for amove into Afghanistan and lhat the move had probably already begun

he movement ot airborne forces was notas the beginning of an invasion. Onndecember, the activity was interpreted in the NID and in DINs as another step in the augmentation of Soviet forces already in thc country. The primary mb-sion of the new troops was believed to be one of providing security for Soviet penonnd in the Kabul area In addition, the movement of these airborne forces, reported onecember to consist ofen. was interpreted as only another step in Ihc process of preparing for thc introductionaior Soviet ground force into Afghanistan. DIAf

Status Report contained this appraisal fromoecember: "All of the above reflecls theexpansion of Soviet forces in and near Afghanistan, probably in preparation for maior military operations in that country.

ust before nightfall ooecember, elements of the five battalions ofrd CADth CAD. together with dements of the three battalions that had been moved to Bagram in early-to-mid-Decembcr, partidpatcdoup that resulted In the death of Amin and his replacement by Babrak KarmaL Soviet forces assaulted bothesidence at the Duralcrnan Palace southwest of Kabul and tbe Radio Afghanistan building in the center of town. Within hours, the major buildings were under Soviet controlefensive perimeter was established around the capital (see. Soviet forces encir-cled and subsequently disarmed theorps which had been responsible for capital security.


_]tne 5th CMRD alKushka and tllC llUtM MRDhad deployed from garrison to dbpersal lreas. The Sth CMRD was in the valleys

'T1 '1 mUHlK

KlfJ Maior elements of Use Slh CMRD and the lOttl. mItDnter AfShanis,an onDecember The 5lh CMHD moved into the western porl of the country from Kushb and took up positums near Herat, Shindand. andth MUD moved from Termer, toI.omri. through the JaW Pass and on to Bagram and Kabul (see. Most of the overland deployments oflorces began aboutecember as airhf, activitybeing reduced The firsl indisputable evidence thatground (as opposed to airborne) forces hadame onecember, when the bS defense atlaehc observed Sov,et gIound fores in large mimfaeii coming down intom rh,

.he Sahns

surrounding Kushka and lheUD waslhc foothillsWtefS north of Termci Tlw di-visions wore 1ml underlvcJ|


memetroleum dep-is ca ruble of hoUiiiRtons at 'ferine*sJ.Kl.tIv less at Kushkaa-1tonedb Decemberas Mim^linit thai the Soviets were likdyatiim bases formoviiv mu,pecialstimated that,

Soviets momlound division* isslp

ton. thoy wouldKHiSi, forces to garrisoney tilics and eunlrgl tlte impurlart) coniinumeaimn* routesu llsriu ur-luction of tliev ur.iN was also iuilod to In- .uflieic n' to Im- or eniinhiiiixnci'ii, , iti'iiit nil Karrrnil in . i'I,.- it

the two Smiet ough fi country Ii

Sovirls iu any cose

in .nil cast'

h!'volvenienl. In addition, be NID inec. notedUSSU


Maraist rcKinu- orM securityhcIihI In precede juiy commitment

r-portinc during the invasion was Wis limitedescription of the events as theyrcame assurprise to US intelligencee assessments questioned the wisdom nf Musenns decision toegimek Althoughas acknowledged thatW be- co.npleidy under Soviet control, his bant-WrnirnJ made him no more suitable than Amin lo unite tlic rdidhous segments of Afghan <ociety under Mania regime. Although (here weredibh clashes between Soviet and,

"of fighting between Soviet lorces and

ID Ul i

MisuiKcnts were treated with


Aecember NID Hem. which mcn-lioncd Pakistani press reports of Soviet counteroperations, concluded that lhe reports probably

were exaggerated jincc "the insurgents lardy attack heavily armed Afghan garrisons and tbcy almostwould not engage crack Soviet forces."


Success in warning dependsonsiderable degree on the attacker's behaving larccly according toarning system is designed tothose steps that experience and analysis have indicated Mt attacker wdl lake before anthe basis of common prudence and the doctrine tlte attacker has developed for going to war.esult, it is vitally important tootentialdoctrine lor initiating hostilities and lo check that understanding, whenever circumslaiiccs allow, against actual practice. For these reasons, the USCommunity has for many years conducledesaminalions

Jhal could sued light on Moscow'sgoverning lhc nature and liming of llioscthai ll deems necessary in the process of going to war. These Studies have scrscd as thc basis forwhich of these Operations could reasonably beto bc perceived by Western intelligence and. therefore, for determining how much warninc would be available for US and NATO commanders.

he invasion of Afghanistanare chance to compare US estirnates of Soviet doctrine for going lo war with an actual operalion and. on tlse basis ol this comparison, to glean whatever lessons may bc applicable lo thc problem ol warning of war inThc task is complicated, however, by the many differences between Use kind of operations tliat were undertaken lo invade Afghanistan and those that could be expected in tlic eventarsaw Pact atlack on the NATO countries. Thb problem not wit lata nding. any nationelatively large-scaleoperation must make substantial preparations, and these measures are likely to be governed byOperating procedures and lo have certainrha racier istics irrespective of the target.thison of the memorandum focuses on some ol ihe major aspects of Soviet doctrine for going to svar. looks al how Soviet forces were actuallyin preparing for and carrying out tin; invasion of Afghanistan and in operator* lluotir;li January

ndasis lor assessing whether this comparison of doctrine and practice warrants any adjustment in Our present approach to the problem of learning.

A. The Command ond Conirol Structure Ooc trine ond Proc'ke

KM. Tlie decision to invade Afghanistanwas made at the highest level in tlic Kremlin, probably by tlvc Defense Council. Thc Defense Coun-cil is an inner grouping within thc Politburo which defines tbe principles of Soviet military strategy acceptable to the Communist Party and theagencies concerned. Tlic Council convenes, to make major political-military decisions within livepolicy framework already laid down by thcThc Council's primary function is to deal with rjucjtions of national security and Strategy, notably those involving significant military actions. It sets the course of Soviet military policy and serveso-ordinatoi between influential sectors within lhe parly and the armed forces. The Soviet Defense Council is composed of the top leadership ol the party and the grivernment-

lthough we have no specific evidence confirming when thc decision to invade was made, there are indicationsecision to prepare for ihis conlingeiicv may have been reached by thc Defense Council inollowing the mutiny at Hishkor and the two-month visit lo Afghanistan by the Soviet Ground Forces Chief of Staff.

(he final decision may have been made in late NovcirTbcr or earlyhis decision may have been prompted by the insurgents returning lo the offensive in this period .ifier what had appeared


bo on effective series of Sweep operations by (be Afghan Army. Shortly after tliii. Soviet military acliv-ilics across the border from Afghanistan increased About (hc same time. Ambassador Oobrynin returned to Moscow- from Washington forons.

he Supreme High Command is tlse highest Operational authority responsible lor Ihc conduct of Soviet military operations

I0S. Thc nexl level of strategic and operationalbelow the Supreme High Command is the General Slaff. Tins organization is the executive agent arid operational arm of lhe Supreme High Command and. as such, coordinates military planning, directscommon to all services, and provides centralized conlrol of all combat forces. The General Staff was hilly engaged in preparation for lhc Afghanistanand exercised close control over the entire



Secretary Brezhnev, who chairs the Defense Council, is also Supreme Commander in Chief and in lhat capacity is or would be lhc leader of tlse Supreme High Command. Conclusions regarding additional membership must be more speculative. They almost certainly include lhc Defense MinisteiL '

Jtho three first deputyol defense, the five Force commanders, andothers

arsha!irst deputy minister ofandember o! thc Supreme Hicli Command, apparently was in overall command ofin Afghanistan


lie major poirucontrol within lhe staff was thc Chief Operations Directorate. ThU directorate was responsible both for strategic military planning and forlhc coordination and implementation of these plans

Sokolovresence in Afghanistan could Cc considered analogous to the Soviet practice during World Warfepresentative of lhe Su-emc High Command to oversee critical operations.

^]Marsl >alispatch to Kabul was consistent with the centralization of control that is characteristic of Soviet

^Marshal Sofcolovs


- -

J^clcar indications thai Moscow reearded the operation as warranline the Special alien-lionember of the Defense Council

oviet doctrine for the command of laigc-scalc military operations customarily Calls foe anotherunder (he Ceneral Staff known as thc llwalcr ol military operationsVD would encompass several fronts and perhaps long-range aviation, rocket forces, and naval units as welLoviet front consistseadquarters and several field armies, requisite naval and air elements andlogistical units, depending on thc nature of the mission. In the case of Afghanistan, however, livedid notVD or front. Instead, theylo eiercise control from lhe Ceneral Staff through the Turkestan MD Headquarters lo the neat echelon below tlie front, the army

u lhc Soviet system there is considerablein structunrig theaters, fronts, and armjes. Thev arc tailored for particular missions and their size and composition can vary widely. Tlie combined-arms

army which controlled lhc operations in Afghanistan demonstrates this practice. Designatedh Army, it wax unique inOmposile of units (haiwere identified as subordinate to numerous armies throughout thc USSH. lltaff responsible for operations, intelligence, cryplOKtaphictraining, air defense, and administration. Il alsocries of directorates.olitical directorate responsible for ensuring the politicalofunfe ir. ;ccordar.ce with psrly guidelines. In the Case of Afghanistan, there was no evidence that this directorate interfered wiih military decisions. The aims directorates (lank, artillery, air defense, signal, and cliemical troops) were responsible for theaspects ol Ihcir own arms- Thc supply(tank armament, artillery weapons, and communications) sverc responsible for procurement and distribution of technical equipment. The tear services staff was responsible for coordinating logistics services and (or liaison with other directorates and the supply organization. Control of subordinate combal' nnd suppon elements was cscrciscdcries of command postshus,h Army wasand operated generally along doctrinal lines.

Organization ol command at division level ond liclow also followed established doctrinal lines. Each division headquarterslaff, political directorate, arms directorates, tank armament, artillery weapons and communications directorates,ogistic staff. The motorized rifle divisions in Afghanistan generally had five types of commandcommand posts, rear control points, and alternate command posts, plus foiward vehicle command posts andcommand posts. Thc motorized rifle regiments usually operatedain command postby the regiment's chief ofear control point under the direction of the deputy commander in charge ol rear services and logistics,orward command vehicle which was commanded by thecommander when he was not at thche motorized rifle battalions had highly mobile main and forward command posts. Thc main command post, usually an armored command vehicle, was normally controlled by the battalion chief of staff The forward command post was occupied by the battalion commander during movement and combal operations.

Aircraft ooe ul ine in support of the ground forces were controlled through combat control centers

and groups- The normal Soviet practice is to assign combat control posts, centers, and group* to Iront. army, and division headquarters



he command and control structure activated for (he Soviet intervention in Afghanistan differed somewhat from what wc would capcelcar in Europe These differences can be attributed largely to thc far smaller scope of lhc forces required for Afghanistan and, presumably, to Moscow's assumption that these forces would noi face substantial opposilion. With minor ciceplious there was no evidence ofordering increases In combat readiness. Among the unique features o! the organization developed for this contingency were;

A donl was not formed, evidently the Soviets did not uclicc llie forces committed to therc numerous enough to Justify forming this command echelon

An MD headquarters was used for organizing, supporting, and supervising live Operations,thc lesponsibilityront headquarters

The operating forces were organized in anod oi fashion, including tin: extensive use of independent units to augmenth Army and ils divisions, the tailoring of units for specific missions, and lhe designation of regiments as independent.

Once in Afghan 1st,in. army and main division CPs were sec udtatic configuration;ar in Europe. ihc.SC would be highly mobile, andoften


An air aim was established forhr

Ihis arrangement was unusual, hot noi without lou'idalion in doctrine and cactciscs

I Id Despite these tininuc (cal(lies', llw command and contiol structure as observed by US inliiligence in th* invasion and immediate post invasion period was essentially in keeping with previous olimatcs ol how the Sovicls would conduct tliemsclvcsartime Situation, rise diileicnccs were relatively minor and could be ciptaincd by Ihe limited site ol the operation in comparison to that rem miduropean conflict and bv Ihe geographic remoteness ami undeveloped nature of Afghanistan

B. The Communicolions System Ducliine ond Practice

he Soviet Umuti hasompica. multilayctcd communications syslem. Ii to eiercise command and cottlfol of its armed forces Reliable, lediindanl, and iccure, it affords llie Soviet Defense Council and the Supreme High Command both military (Central Staff) and political (KCII) channels by which lo reach Ley commandcti sn as to ensure compliance with strategic political ami military directives In addition, ihey can male use nf aof other governmental commonicalions net -works under lhc cognizance of the Ministry of Com inunons


oviet communications activities in Afghani-Stan tended lo confirm the Weston uitdcr standi rig of Soviet doc!nnc and praclice with respect to command and control of lactical units The Soviets recognize that success in lactical operalions dependsonsiderable degree on having reliable, efficient, and unirtlcriuptcd radio com inun ica lions and on making use of landlines where their use is feasible Soviet doctrine calls only fo* establishing certain bases of communications,implementation lo lhe judgment of theBanc operating principles evident diningin Afghanistan inclutlcd lhe establishment of1 meat ions from supporting lo supported units, strict operator and socuraly discipline, and command nets providing direct com mimical ions withunits two echelons downskip echelon" mm-




etera II v, llie ran itu is syslemi in Afghanistan railoriiMil lo Westernlalioiii. based onnderstanding olprinciples Tlw lyitcm wailo ensure lhal command posts Couldmissions and be kcirt underiedion* nets" preplanned andnitir commandSlice

lo iU: of tin- command and staff. Tlie facilities wereponded when llw need lo* increased (rail* liamllinc arose. AtltlKionallv. ibere waa mute cvnlciwc llial automatedi iprni win in* t'OaliKcd for administrative. toctsliCS. arlillcrr 'irc cotalrnl. and air dclcme purposes.

C. Airborne forces Doclrinc ond Practice


Tbc Soviet Union maintain* ciclu airborneseveneady Status and one deese In'Ccs are ccnirally controlled by liveV Headquarters in Moscow and are consnkicd straicvic reserves of (he Supreme HighTheir ptcp autinns and movements ate consitlctcd loopd wan line indicator bccairtc Soviet docltitwvi llial (hey would be used in thc opening phasesitle variety of military operations, rangingidl'Scale war in Europe to intervention imM areas Print to tlw inlcrvcnlion in lhc lasl oncraltonal use ul Sovici airborne forces was in llie invasionvakb. when VOV muH vi*od the airport al Prague, occupiedscrnmenl facilities, and arrested government leaders

lthough lhc airborne forces went placed on licit in several periods ol internallorval tension during, tliey were never deployed In lite lew cases in which lite Soviets inter versed, llwir forces were cmnposcd of cotntul and stipporl units talen fiom nonairlxMiic formations Tor ciamplc. theurface-to-air missile icgunents senl io Egypt0

tal-eagr Ptesidentwar of altrilion were

drawn inlacl from lhc USSH's National Ail Defense Forces, and lhcquadrons sent io Egvpt due

iitg thatrctn Somt FrotHil

Avialion unils

sop Sftffot Wtfc.

US intelligence estimates ol Soviet power pcoicclion capabilities have saidecision by tbco employ lhcir airborne lot en would Itim on scenario iclalcd (acton, ofere probably thc molt important--lhelevel of opposition and (he location. Airborne tioops were estimated to be appropriate chiclly in situations wheie tl* opposilion would bc light and where the mobilehtly cquipiied natuie of such units would facilitate their transport to the area of conflict US estimates have nut considered tlic time needed lo prepare Soviet airborne, forces toignificant constrain!one-distance operation. An airborne regiment could be ready for an airlift within ihree lo sii hoursivision in aboutours after an alert ivas Eiven. If the operation called for anoviet airborne rcgimenl was estimated lo require eight loours lo prepare,ivision aboutours. Although il was assumed lhal there would be numerous indications ofeploymentarge airborne force

IJuS estimates stated that once these steps were accompli shed, deployment couldon veiy short notice.


employment of airborne forcesadhered closely lo ihese estimates.used lo establish and maintain an airhead inlohow of force in support ofelements; lo maintain securily in andurban, governmeni. and military areas, andlimited combal operations lo eliminatecontrol opposition IO Soviet Supported

specifically,rd CAD.llelorussian MD.igh slate of


reparedncss and fleiibility.^

|Thcot lhc lOSlhCAD wasat leasi equally impressive though it hadrolonged opportunity to come lo thc lenuisitc Slate of readiness for the invasion"^

division's deploymenl into lhat country

rou IcTwdl be viewed as more administrative ihanbecause of lhe nc<not>poscd nature of the move and the division's proiimity lo the border.

D. Militory Treimport Aviotion Doctrine ond Practice

he primary mission of thc Military Transport Aviation (VTA) is lo lift Soviet airborne forces Other minions include the movement of nonaiiborne troops, equipment, supplies, and nudear weapons. In addition, it is used for lhe delivery of economic and military assistance rnaterid to Sovietstales in the Third World. VTA operatesedium and heavy transport aircraft, of which approiimaldy SSS are lhe medium-range AN-I! Cutis Thc long-range transports include aboulocks (which can carry all ground forceequipment} and GOandida. Most of these aiicraft have been based in lhe western USSR. Cavil aircraft (torn Aeroflot could provide support to VTA and adde diniTt- and long-range transports to lhe inventory. These aircrafl are configured primarily for personnel or light cargo airlift, butould be uicd lo lift lieavy equipment Aeroflot routinely transportsilitary personnel over aof about three to four weeks during therotation ol Soviet troops in Eastern Europe.

ilitary Tisiisport Aviation devotes considci-ablc traininc lima lo ils primary mission of transport-iiic airborne assault troops, including night drops, close formation Hying, and low-level navigation. US Inld-keener has estimated lhal the VTA has dctrioristraied in cacicucs and training activities an adequate level of competence to tunsport airborne assault troops, bul thai in an actual operation success would dependavorable air environment tl has also estimated that Ihe entire lift capacity of VTA would be required to move all the equipment andersonnelto one aiiborne division Assuming an alrcralt availability rale of alioutercent, this would mean lhal VTA ruobably would prove inadequateull

division lift Offwtling ihis awurrp'ion. however, is

ihc fail tliat Soviet iii borne units would probably leave behind thdr administrative poisonncl and some equipuienl situation Accordingly. US

InUlaiggllCC. has estimated lhal VTA could lift die as sault elements of two airborne divisions sincludingssential combal and combat support equipment with some transport, supplies, and other lot it clcmcnls

illi Us lame force of eargo-COiiliriurcd trans-pod aircraft. VTA also was estimated lo be well pre-pared lo transport CQuipmcnt and uipplies. especially lis* Irpea offound in Warn* Pact alr-bornc unllf. On llie oilier band, US cslimalcs have concluded ibal tbe low (alio of aircrews lo Operational3 toouldimitinc faclot on Soviet air Iranspoil capabilities Wiihalio, (he/that crew fatigue wouldritical lac-toe during wistained operations Moreover, with nearly all VTA airlift assets and airborne divisions normally deployed in (he western USSH, it was believed that thai factor would be particularly important innot. rimarily toward Central Europe and NATO's flanks. On the basis of these laclors. US intelligence has estimated thai (he VTA would liave serious problems in intensive airlifts of lone duration requiring heavy payloads over distances giealcrm.

han the invasion finally was launched. VTA operations were well coordinatedigh sortie rale was sustained These operalions placed much lesttrain on lhe force than an operationore distant location would have caused. Thc flights were able to refuel within ihe USSR, and lhe final leg mlo Afghani stan invohed distances of lessautical miles Therefore, potential pioblemt with overflight rights, suitable landing and refueling points, aircrew fatigue, md':a liability were not encountered. In .iiiiii.ii ' the Iwere conductedenign ail defense environment Although ihere it no question lhal tire VTA performed well, the USSR usedercent of its airlift assets toorce of five to sirrtuippcd battalionselatively shortunder nearly idealt hough this is not proof that larger operalions lo greater distances could "Ol be carried out, il does suggest that suchlenui'emcnts could be caecuted only in (heof othet competing requirements. Even then, the capability lo respond would be strained.

E. Ground forces Divisions Doctrine ond Proclkc


n the Afghanistan operation. Iromuhc USSR employed some SO percent of VTA's ANocks andndids anderceni of ilsubs. Overall abouterceni of VTA airlift assets participated in supporting the iiilc-venlion during lhe period Irom la'e November through the end ol December. Theon wasoul smoothly with no major difficulties reported As in tlie case of the VDV. tlse Afghan operation wasood case to lest US estimates of VTA surge capacities VTA assetsprepared well in advance of the major opciation onndcccinber. Substantial numbers of VTA aircraft had been dc-ployed to the Turkestan MD since oaily December

lorces to be moved had been assembled at ii tosses beginning in mid-Decern-



S assessincnls made prior lo the invasion of Afghanistan credited Soviel ground divisions wills (he abilily lo mobilize wilhin (he following lime frames

Category I- withinoursours Categoryhours or more

Mobilizationdefined as lhe call up ol reservists and predesi; ruled common-user equipment (primarily tianiport and engineer .chicles) and their integration into undent length units Moilivisions were not espected lo require much rein (or cement prior lo being committed lo combat Thisartieularli to Sovietivisions garrisoned in Eastern Europe, which had all tlieir essential personnel and equipment. Category II and IIIwere indeed lo have significant shortages of personnel and support equipment [especially transport vehicles) and to need to be mobilized prior toIn addilion to mobilizing, theseCategory IIIbe canceled to participate to the eilenl possible in other pre-deployment preparations, including individual turning and unit maneuvers. Tie duration of Ihese peedcploimem preparations would depend on operational cons idci at ions and olher planning factors.

rfin 'l"f

especially the lie*rcc ol urgency dictated by hal-llcfirid requirements Under ealremr cimi instances (fur example, reactionurprise atlack or the ui>-availability of olKer umis) freshly nvrabilued divisions might bc movedilli little or no prepara-ison (S>

occurredthi-st,h MRDs in the months iKrccding the unnsipn, however, thcis lev iwruiasivr ihan in ihr case of the 5th CMRD ll .lie 'Inernlined precisely when these divisions uiUuleil jimI completed rnubiliiation. ItIim.rMi thai most lescrvists integrated into these disinnii> wcrr called up duringecember lime framt-F NC C)

137 Despite lU- ulhrr lengthy mobilization and preparation prnml. the Sili and lOSih MRDs were committed before iliey were completelv combal ready. The 5th. fur example, rnlered Afghanistan with only aboul half of its wheeled trans|<ort vehicles; tlie must being in the dlvrsions four maneuver teiinnenls Tliese shortages were roi-reeled after lha division was mmm Hied Thr Sovsrts abo rhnsr- lok- i;ioMings of these divisions alter tliey it ere moved to Afghanistan It should be noted that llar-se Iwo divisions did not participalr In <ie.iMlic.niiperations lor several weeks hi innrt- >lui tlirv arrived] Older models of armored personnel carriers such as lhendere repUrrl withnd Ihe BMP infanlrv combat vehicle (see ligure 2K1

ll threed illle divisions committed lo Afghanistan, thc 5ththndstere assessed as Category IIIourth MRD. lhe 5Sth (Kiiylas abo mobilized and began moving to theanin late December but was not eornmilted UScarriedh MUDategory II di visionth and 5th MRUs had cleared their garrisons by IS Thev remained in the general vicinity of their narrtsnns. however,ecern her and were notuntilecember Major elements ofst MRD had cleared garrison by Ihe end of tbe lint week of January but apparently were not intended lor early 'i instead, this division moved to Termer and remained there for about one month beforeinto northeastern Afghanistan. (TSF NC CI

run/l( and tin will lh

n Ihc basis of estimated peacetime manning levels, as many0 reservists could have been called up to fill tl*si.h MRDs It appears lhal selective inobill/nlion began in late November or early December The nvni intensive and extensive phaw ol inat ion, however, appears In have occurred in mill to-late December Conse quently. Ihe iwo MRDs initially committed into Afghanistan-the Sili and lOSth-had atays and perhaps cnmsrtrrablv longer (up toaya) to mobilize and iiiakcolhci prvdeptnymeni prcpuiations Many reservistsalso called up subseqvientanuaiy. tliesc reservists served primarily in nun divisional units. Their are indications, though lheis not conclusive, lhal at least onehave increased its manning level and leadi ncss posture in the months preceding lhe invasion Higher -than-usual battahun- and iritimenlal-lcvel activity was ubsetved wiihm this division dunng lhe summer and fallome resetvlslv wcie prob ably called up tu partKipalr in ihn field iraining. including oflieer* and senmr NCOs It is noi knnwn liuw many resrrvisli were called up. ktM Iouk ihev snved, and whenoie reseated, or bow many (if any) remained on ,ietive duly until the division waiil o ils warlimc slfcnglh in IVcembei (we It ts also noMthlc that souoiigation


igvia Ii

Soviet IITR.ISOIti Kabul

0 AAA Hr-giment of llie 5th CMRD wasby anAM regimentear that these post commitment equipment upgrades would not take placeuropean battlefield, at least not wkharea forcesF NC C)

is little doubt that the Sovietshard lessons in their IMrodisctson ofinto Afglianistan Tneir motoriied rifleorganized ami trained tu opriate on anuclear bait Id-eld aiainsl an opponentur nuclear weapons and tacticsforces doctrine calls for the commitmentloices and inounteil tiilantiy atalong multiple axes. The lorce* used inhowever, were conlrnntcil with an entirelysituation and thereforeumber olproblems Those included thc terrainequipment usage and mobility eitremeslimited and low-quality hues nlan elusive opponent,ostile population iS)


length of tune tlx! liar Category IIItook to mobilize was (ar tn rui-is of theuf which thevrenil capable inest imaumni Ihu uunimum.isto lie the to

ben an inu ivriai The ulna lion whichn-gliantstan. however, did noi iiicv-nl the mvil Inm such

deadline Although we do noi know the precise dale of the decision to invade, there ii evidence that thethat were lo be involved took steps In the fall to increase their manning and readiness postures.F NC C)

HO Despite this earlact activity, these divisions experienced some dill-cully in mobilizing Fortlie lOStb Mill) at Termer]

some nl tin- division's storedicrable Comparable shortcomings plagued the 5th CMIID. Dosplle the use of civilian trucks (see, its (our maneuver regiments wereercent short o( wheeled transport by thc time they entered Afghanistan The evidence ol these problems suggests thai tlie US estimate that Category III divisions could bc mobilizedinimum ofours requires reelamination It should behowever, lhal lhe situation in Afghanistan did not present ihr Soviets with any need lor rapidand thus mat notans (or altering the US estimate On the basis of their Afghanrtoe. however, the Soviets ate likdy to embarkrogram to upgiailr tlie training and equipment levels of thdr Catrgors III divisions, particularly those'lo caled along Mratcgi.alh imtmiiant axes (TS It t. NF NCC)

Fiflura 24

mal trier vrtK

Weentml 'in |i< laiiiun i'lMI


v r

F. Olher Fortes

eneral war against NATO. weec' lo see widespread alcMing and dctdoymcnt olair. naval, andcesonly in (healers

ii'iiu'iui lo aci ol potential but abo in

ihcatcrj remote (roin the aciion Tim rude menta Soviet desire lo hive all form prepared in case the opponentotential advcisary in aisother area, lot example. China, altemotctl to tale aciion in other thealers US studies iho assume iliat in ihe case of an allack acaimt an opponentlanL'area. the readincss of all Soviet lorces would be raised to guardATO of Chinese response and. moreover, lhal Ihis heightened readiness would apply lo strategic as well as theater lorces In ihe case of Afglianistan, however, forces noi direclly involvedlor lhe most part not plarcd on hiuhcr readiness levels. Thc following sectionsescription nf whal Han-spired in each of thc major clement* uf the Soviet armed forces ollsci lhan thnsc already described.

rocricol Aviation

hc Turkestan Ml) traditionally was some-ihinitrms ol the numbers and sophistication of oHcouvc aircraft .h'uki' For Ihii reason, it was not stirpriung lhat lhe Soviets had IO augment their resources in this drsinct lo support tbe invasion As9 the Soviets had the following aircralt in tlie Turkestanishbed fichlers/frelncr-bombeis;ilter fighter-bombers;rewer rcccmnaisuncc aircrafl. andipslicoiMcn

ost nl tlse tactical ancraft movemcnls in prcparaiiori fur the invasion occurredday period prior to the iiirsze ol tunuiorl aircraft activity fromhroughecern her

ek of Occcmbci tlse tadical an order ol bailie in lhe Turkestan MD had Incicascd by SS percent, with lhe following aircraflislibcd lighters/fighter-bom bets;illet fisdilci-bombcrs;'cwcr reconnaissance aircraft and1 ip, Hook, Hind liansport and combat assauli helicopters Two airfields lhat normally did not liave tactical offensive aircraft baaed there. Mary North and Mary Noitlicait. handled large numbers of these temporarily deployed lighten and lactical bombers The Fishbcds al Chirchik had moved south to Kokayty and were during (he airfield with another Fishbed regiment normally based theie. as well as licbcoptct and transports

the movement of Substantialtactical aircraft into Afghanistan, lhc Sonets didthese food-wing aiscticalrnuvcly in theposiinvatjon penod F

lone ol thc iMineipal le.asons lor moving the liigh-pciToiinaiicc aircrafl mlo Afghanistan had been lo protict Soviet foices inove againsi them by Iranian aircraft Thii threat never

contrail to the silualion inair forces opposite NATO svould requirerciulurcemenl before hostilities Sovietin soiKWt of the Croups of Soviet Forces mPoland, ami Crcchmlovakis are wdlsophisticated aircraft In addition lo iheseair forces of Fast Cermany, Poland, andwould aboilabsc If reinforcementsUSSH werehey could be moved loarea on very sltort notice

lona Ronge Aviation

rom9anuary tySOit leasiovieta nee Avialionid-get incdiiim bombers, comprising nmerceni of the LHA force, ih-ploynl io bases in (he south-central USSH Tliese deployments, which coiisisted ulo Dolou.n Kneels, aridasno-odsk. wereassociated with the Sosiet invasion ofThe boiiibcis did not iiailicipalc. in combat missions and probably were iiilcndcdhow of force or forf neeecuryid Iinuarv, most of ll* aircraft hid returned to llieir home bsscs-L

Sii-ce tlve TU-IGeripheral

rtrilc aircu.fl. ill dcisliivuicnl in laisrs in the USSU foi possible nil flu lion in Afghanistan wai consistent with tbe US undcrslandiiii; of llie oJe ol llul ji ici all Willi tlicf llie dci Joy incut to Keasiiovejdsk.t

^LIlA activityoe

with USorwouldin tn* of

riper at mm i

Siiotcgic Rocket Forcei

here wai lumc Strategic Hm lei Forces (SRFJ activity, (iiKii-ili.-lr bynlcrincdiutc-iuiUM ballistic missile (ones, during iht' prciuvasusii period.





HO The iaiv-jjiori of Afgl'imUin (vrnxlcd (ew. i( any. fresh inugbls into liar way Sonet Frontal Avurtinu. Lone. Rangeot Letnd Navy would lie uiodar agoinii NATO lliii it pninarily Ihxmiivc hoi ic of these forcea ucii- sauiiiticaiitly Involved inillunjiltion anil because then cir-CuiusUm uiota^in involvement would be dif

fclCiK For Clio pic. liar of1 in

ass.ii wkieli occurredi amod of weeks before tlic

ould not bc reouirud tarlorr a

move ac-ii'iP large nuwlacrs of Soviii ami other Warsaw I'jcl Uctnid air iimls arc al-ready in place oi limit? NATO Tim relatively slmrl div lancesllie U'vSH ami Westernmsaii tlia! additional rcinforcciikcnh could bc moved inhorteforewere required In addition, tlicre can lar no doubt lintATO war. lhc LHA. SJIF. and naval forcei vC-Jd be laminiAircd during lhe conflict

range ballistic missile orai no discernible, increase i



Soviet Novo' foi cos

US Tin: Soviet Navy apparently did not undertake opcrjlions in sutipun of the hu-nMou of Alf.lii;iislan


G. logistics

Ooeirine ond Proclxe

ISO The US Intelligence Oniiniunity oluualet llul tlic Sovicl logillic lystcni il iiIiuih.iI tocuca uf short, last-moving campaign!uropean environ, menl For lliis support. US aiulysii believe llul Soviet duclrinc permits rear service elcincnls of wirts abrxclevel to bc comnirtted before con inletc prrpsra lion> are made in order io increase llie oddsisuipfise Ai division level and below. hov-cvci. it istbat appropriate logistications have lobeloie the fours arc committed In combat Hose logistic units at army level and alvwe lhal were commitied before being completely preparedbc brougla' uptrength shortly after an irwausosi br tlae addition of rcai seinerinh red iu augment pcactinic foiniatidns For waitirne operations,s-Imiated lliulSoviets wouldpush" system in which supplies arc moved from higher cclvlons to lower over multiple supply routes Some of tlic icadi would bc dedica'ed for use soldr bv logistic etcsncnt* Railwould be uted as much asaitiewlain* for llie rnovemenl o! bul* items To mmxn oiirt'lions in a

< >pe conflict, the estimated prirsritics for cornsupplies would be ammunrtion. POLndechnical loppl-a, rations, and nonlceti-nical supplies Local resources would be uploilcd as much as oossibln, and Military Transiort Aviation would be used to move only llie rnosl critical supplies

i:.i The contrast. lx.'twcci what Soviet toclillc doc-trme calls forar against NATO and the situation tliat developed ir. Afghanistan ts masked.oviet doctrine aIWi the commitment of forces with leas than complete logistic prcpuralion at division level and above. Soviet army Icvd units in Afghanistan wcie rsotUD strength even alter the invasion was seromiJuhcxI This cWtcaenry led to rtumerous no ply and maintenance problems in the rail* days of the ooerahon. alt'rough none of these were known to haveon Soviet operations Soviet '. ics doctrine was also not employed in the case of some units atIcvd as previously noted, the 5th CMRD ai k'ushka was sent into Afghaiiistan with tipO percent short ace of ceneral purpose vehicles. Soviet forces ivcie unable lo establish multiple lines ofwith dedicated supply routes. Tlsarajimited number of roods and total lack offghaiiistan. The two main roads from Tcrmct to Kabul and from Kindly to Herat and Qandahar weie tiled for Unh oiwratioiul and logistic riurpcocs. Ihis resulted in frequent Loti knocks, which were made more serious by poor weather conditions and by frequent insursrnl cf forts to Cut tlx: roads

hrough0 Soviet logislici.ns sup plied items lo field forces in lhe priority order called foe in Soviet doctrine for opcislioos against NATO, lhat is. ammunition. POL. technical supplies, rations, and nontechnical supphev The Soviets did not adapt llieirystem lo match lhe requirements im liosed by lhc tidical. physical, and economic conditions

of lhe country. Moreover. lhe rScsicncd-for Europesystem kept producing ciccsuve amounts of arlilleiy and tanken the uluation demanded small caliber munilions. llecause off faculties, (he VTA was called upon to assist in the movemeni of routine lupplics from ihe I'SSH in contravention of Soviet ldjislic doctrine


hc SBvtesa bve crim their logistic forces much less reparation for the movement andopcralion into Afghani-uin lhan presumably Ihey would for anestern Europe Thb may liave been dueowhe opposition thai Ike Soviet forces -eatakJ encounter In addition. Soviet divisions in the Turkestan MD dad not reaaraa full logbia: slr.ic-.ires before the invasion Mcecover. because the 4Qfa Army was essentially an ad hoc lorce ortaniiod (or this operation, it had no established logistic element ll, contrast, all of lhe divisions, armies, and lionli ear marked for early cieplmmcnt in Europeull corn' plcmcut of organic motor liamport as<cts Army roar services in the European Theater arc also maintainedigh level of readiness in peacetime and would require minimal augmentation lo become combat ready

hc lackailroad and multiple linescommunications forced the Soviets lo operatewiih ihcir logistics doctrine. The problemsin establishing priorities for supplies.did reflect an ioflorUtity in adaptingorner lions! war aiviimi NATOlea-UUy hasoo-hSnie.oterairood proccdarcs Fmaly. asadetime was abo somef general inlhc logistic lystem and a

nitiative al army and higherommand


IV Soviet invasion of Afghanislan was tl* first offensiveoviet ground forces inlo acountry since lhc invasionl As such, itnique opportunity to lest lhclie US irxUcalrons and)

lyslem The US uson

nVcaton kryed to ll*oviet military liecra

jihI oilier organ mm aid capabilities ruxvlrd to U' Activated in preparation forompi el tensivecollection syslem lu monitor (Ircach indicator,apabilrty to arulyre llieie rlilandihcn. if aporoprute. to tliUK in llie USulhoriicd lo lake action in rrspome In lhc perceived threat He IftW system O

llie greatest ixHculia! threat to llie ATO. lhal is, lhe forces of thc Wai. tedstcin Duopc and the west-of tlic Soviet Union. Tlie indicator (in Soviet prCnaralionsull-and live US collection capabilities on


9 dot* uui lend itself directly to "How effective isW sys-not dottiic war on Afghanistancd forces or its economymall lorceortiaaaraus. IO Mfi SOriendlyiliiary obstacles lo die move ll apparently did not ctpcvt ie aroas and kept uncommitted iiictt levek All of theseiii arc in cool rail lo what would eipCLt if lhe Warsaw against NATO (vchenf nm of war preparations wotrldrciimstanccs of lhc Af the Soviets to conduct un ofivril ing many nf llie or lies llul ihc US warning, system

A. Perforniemce of the lodicolor System

espite ihe circumsiancts ihai made iheof Afghanistan modi different from an aliacL arjinsl NATO, lime were aspects of the operation that coincided wiih tlic mobiliiatipn measures the US 0orris llie Soviets would lake in prcparirip fot war in Europe In the fiilkin ing Sections we will taTaVJatflgfj*of Soviet preriar jliona Iu attackfj

et cm me which woe activated in lhesituation Ihis list was prepared as aor rel-crctvce lor collectors and analysis lo assist ihem in ideiili-Iviii:nterpreting (lie sicndicanccroad variety of Warsaw Pact aetiviiics. llot assumed that all in dicalnrs would become active in every case, but that cno>igh would so that theCommunity would rrxognire changes in Soviei oiubihlicsenl ions mil provide warning as appropriate.

r t_

L ^ J



ioililili Afghanistan ic was not

lmwv.o( USSR-Warsaw Pact-tic activated before tbeview of Ihe nature oflhat ihoscwiih the prcpa ration of llie|ifur war and those wllhand other mil> forces not involved in !i iv. The indicalors lhal

become active included^

B. Perloimarwc of the '. System

ISS As indicated prmieusly. collectioniii MI> and Afghanistan was uuicli more

ma lie than tlie capabilities focused on the areassitc NATO Despite ihit Irrrutat-on, cooection assets nf various linds provided sulficieril coverage Quietly enough lo allow intelligence analysis lo follow andon Soviet ii ii .iliesimrtr manner


_Jlhcv;to alert the Intelligence Crtminuniiv Uiat the Soviets Mere mcre.iiim; their miliiary capabilities iu the 1'uilcsun MD; they were cor.vinCng enough lo serve as thc basis ol the Alert Memorandum that was issued onecemberaragraphs


. Evaluation. The combination of collection^reeled against thc Soviet buildup was adequate In provide enough information to allow analysts to fol- -low the dcvclopmcnll in Sufficient detail lo causeommunity Alert Memorandumrepared.]

I: ts. therefore, reasonable to expect that the bctTcr collection capabilities in Europe and thc vastly greater SCoiie ol the preparations the Warsaw Pact would have to undcrtjle toar with NATO would provide more than ample evidence to thc US Intelligence

Community of the developing situation

C. I'erlormonce of Intelligence Analysis

ll is the responsibility of (he US Intelligence Community to provide waminc lo decision maters ol (orciaii events lhat may be harmlul to thc interests of lhc Uniledo meet this responsibility, inlcl-lilicnce analysis must accurately inlctprci lhe myriad

lop X

bid of evidence provided lo litem by lite intelligence collection system and report-d lo those will> llie authority lo dticct action appropriate to tbe lineal. Therefore, tlic (ociil of this section nf (lie Piperon lhe performance of lhe Comntonily'* analysis and on (lie quest ion of whether tlicii reports provided adequate warping uf the Soviet move into Afghani


n order to make such an utsessitu-ul. il i* first necessary lo understand tlte official definition of warn ing. llul is. tlic standard by which llie inielligence anan be fairly nidged The single, most authoritative source for ihese stanrli'ds is llie Director of Central Intelligence Directive (DCID). datedntitledl eooiainsliicsc definitions

Warning encompasses "those measures taken, and the intelligence infoimation produced, bt tlie Intelligence Community to avoid surprise to the President, tlic Nalional Security Council, and the Armed Forcea of llie United Stales by foreign events of major importance to theol tho United Slates, ll Includes slratceic. but not tactical, warning "

Strategic warning is "intelligence information oe intelligence regarding the threat of tbc initi alion of liostililics againsi the United States or in which US forces may become involved; it may be received at any tunc prior to the initiation of hostilities It does not Include tactical warning."

Tactical warning it "notification lhat thehas initialed hostilities Such warning may be received at any lime Irum the launching ol the altack until it readies its target."

Warning of altack. Tlie Ducctive also givesof Defense "unique andfor warning of altackdefinedof atlact as "anjudgment clearly conveyed taand to militarya country intends to launch an atlack.includes lo the otenl possible anof wl-en. where, and with what forcea"

n meeting its resprsrisibiliiv lo give warning according to these dcfiniliont, thc Intelligence Community relics bolh on routine current Intel

licence andiewarning intel-

ligencelhal are lhc end pinducr ol lhe

US IAW system described above (secIn addition, warning can abo bc conveyednumerous oral briefings and point paperslo< "in-honsc" purposes, as well asand in-depth studies produced by eachagency and military headquarters forconsumers. Al llie highest pohcyis conveyed loprinted form

by means of tlte 1'residr.nt'i Daily G'icf (PDB) In iudgiiig the Intelligence Community's itcrformance wiihfghanistan, tin* evidence ci.i'iiiiicd in this study was confined essentially to lhe written record of all-source assessments ai lliCyin the current intelligence and warning h> ports published bv NFfH member agencies, ll Is acknowledged tliat ihere were iHiincrnus bricfingi of senior government officials regarding lhe Soviet buildup ami tlic likelihoodovicl Invasion of Afghanistan well before (lie invasion look place Inudgment about the pcilormanec ofanalysis, however, these briefings were not cited since many were not recorded and most were not disseminated outside individual agencies.

Current Reporting



I'llCSC aSSCSS'UL'llll accurately lulCCBSl (lit

many opcaiioual difficulties lint the Sovietsif lite* invaded Afghanistan andpro uncluuon iksi aintervention wiswas

i Midi an hiivrvenlinnmake llie insurgents moreined, dial llie Soviets wouldaror loiee lo subdue them, llial llw danger ol becomingdown in anwould dc infill, and lhali.cterrainec: toadl would make opcralioul very dlfficull In add> lion, analysis judged lhal ilic impact mi llie Afghan Army would likely In' adverse.

n addition lo crfiirg lltcae military(he current iivclligcncc puUiestions ceneiaBy took (lie line llial llie political costsMoscow of auch anwould he loo high ll was fudged lint aSovici military presence in Afghanis!an wouldegative effect on Soviel relations wiih lhe Wesl as well as wiih Inn. India. Iran, ami Pakistan The uuoviet military force agains) an Asian population was also seenoliiical gift lo (liewhich Moscow would noi wish to make. Inil wns reported (hat an intcivenlioii would harm the chances of ratification of SALT If by llie. official Soviet statement* lhat denied any intention of Interfering in internal Afghan affairs also were cited as supporting assessments thai ainter veil lion was unlikely.

coup had been received, and lhc mine ment ol the moton'red rifle divisionsui ii was recognized in tliese publicationsarge-scale military intervention had started Late in lhe evening oleccnibcr.

WorniriQ Reporting

202 lleporling designed specifically for warning intelligence is notoutinely or disscmi-ita'rd as wtddy as is current intelligence (ci-aciiiag Inke overlapping nalurc of lhc two types of reporting, much data that would be pertinent lois routinely published in current intelligenceThe only national-level intelligence publics-lious devoted specifically lo wjiiiiiig are the Alert Memorandums published by the DCI During Die preinvasion period there were three suchproduced, one in Sciricmbci and Iwn in Decern bcr. The only other all-source warning intelligence publication published regularly by an NI'IU agency ii thc Dnffu fridicelioru Sfdfus lleiMi't (DISH) ll reports thearning indicators by geographic region and offershcir meaning Although the DISIt is prepared bv DlA, il abo contains inputs from llit: unified and specified commands (USICUCOM. PACOM, and others).


In niid-DocemliCf, liawevct, (he assessments earned in lhc current intelligence puliiic.itmm licgan lo give significant, weight tu ihcnTl'ii slilfl was prompted br the md.catiom of increased miliiary aellvity in the Turkestannch made it clear that (lac USSR was increasing lhe preparedness of its forces. Even, however, the reporting conveyed lhc view (hai if force were used, it would most likely be. al least initially,mall-scale Operation designed to improve the security of Soviet citizens and lo assist tlie Kabul regime in retaining its dwindling authority. This concept that anv Soviet intervention would beimited scale was cairicd over In current inlelligence assessments even aflerecember Ai was noted previously (ice,arly reports of the move of airborne (mops Io Afgltaruslan did not describe the event asoviel invasion, but rather as an incremental increase In thc Soviet sceunty force in Kabul It was not untilecember, when the magnitude of thc aiillfl became clear, when the news uf lhe Sovici-



In addition lo these publications, bul nuticacl'i'ic DuhcvmaLcn. wasseries ol rncmo-iiixlurns Ofi Afghan-star produced br the Strategic Warningoint DoD-OIA warning element These evaluations were Soul to (lie NationalOfficei for Waining ai*cl were tbc sub-eei ol* i- at llie moot litrol ibe inlcragcncy Wmning Working Croup

201 Tbc DCI's Alcrl Memorandumssr-lul purpose in sensitizing policyrnaIers lo ibe potential for Soviet activity Tlicv accurately repntted tlie steps llie USSK wis liliiu: lo increase the capability ol lis forces If tlie Alert Mem or mourns had any failing, it would be tliat tlicv loo were caaliuuS in estimalnic. llie Soviets* willingness to inlcivcnc and lhc scojie uf lhc forces they eventually introduced,cplcniber memorandum warned lhat the Soviels miglit be giving serious consideration to thc introduction of smallunits into Afghanistan (seclieecember Alcil Memorandum warned that thehad achieved the capability lo conduct mulli-battalion opctatiotis in tlir country and that activities in the border areas suggested that preparationiuch more substantial reinforcement might also bc under way (seehe lltird Alcrlsen! Iu Icy decisionmakers oneceinber, warned lhal preparations foi a maior move Into Afghanistan essentially had been completed and that the move had begun (see. This rung-menl was cor ices, but il leli unclear what was meant byajorspecially since nthei warningand subsequent current intelligence report inc. described thc move as preliminary

he DISfl reporting of lhc development of warning Indications opposite Afghanistan was eiphcit. As shown iney indicators of potential Soviet moves were activated in mid-December andactive through lhe invasion period. Figurehows that indicators wcie activated, in general, shortly after an event was reported FromhroughDecember.tlic DISH appraisab ol what was poilendcd by these indicators was limitedtatement that, "All of the above Suggests lhc USSIt is eapanding lhe Sire of ill military lorce in and nearhis COticlji-on did not assess lhecapability ol Soviet lorces nor did it touch uti'in the iiucstion of Intent ll was much weaker than those contained in llae DINs ami lhe derivative briefings presented to military authorities during the sameTlic activities on ZO amincluding

the rtunetnenl of airborne forces, were aurssed in the DISH in ihis way "All ol the above reflects ihc continuing cipansion of Soviet lorces in and new Afghanistan, probably in preparation for nia|nr mill taiv opcralmoi oi lhal country. Tins rudgmci-tihe opinion, common lo mutt Inielligence reporting al thc time, that the movement of airborne forces was only preliminary to lhc iuliuduclion of mitOuud forces

valuation. This evidence of delays and misperceplions not withstanding,pparent lhat in the Afghanistan situalion tlie liitelligcnee Communitv met thc moil basic requirement for warning That il. it met tlir Itandaid ipccificd inu provide "intelligence informationo avoidlo the President, llie Nalional Security Council.

Table t


tl? IS Uiy $

Sar 9

HSeo 9


Evi-iii/Dcieliim ii-iii

Sli'iiv iil>ru-i> hi Al(lumiiiiie *ntu* in nulaarr laanai

Wit io tajaSaa Kialunic in Herat, EOSovku tilled

Alrrfwinu at

iWiaJKrOiial ratal Sevtciami

lanaalvclioai- Sovid cnnlal


ec 9

i lied incieued

v/1mint report

Sri. CMHDfurWi vacated itleilwirniol buildup on looter

wnplcivJtwe Isrniuf awve-nenl

otloirei In I'llul

*ThtM inefcda Lab priolwd collim pdntial Ixind il* pnwtn!hr Ui Inlellieercrr. ,



rmedy foreign cents olOlhc Untiedl

hai ahcadv been discussed, inleitieence report! had conveyed through tlw summer9 that lhc iitua-lion in Afghanistan wai increasingly unliable- llv September, thii reporting warned rhit theillualion could compel live SovieU to incicaie their military activity in the coonliy By mid-Decern) aci it was observed thai lhe Soviet! had dramatically in creavvfnarodncu of timi lorces in llie Tuikatvi MD Tlicac activilies ledrits ofreports,econd Alert Memorandum, which rjcjciibod the buildup and svanvod lhal lhe Soviets "were picturing lorces lo conduct combat ooeutmns in Afghanistan- (arc patagiaplrs.altlioiarhrcirtrta did not include otanutra of when, low, or wlcre lie Soviets could Urictvcnc. tliey lotod thatrcn> aratiotttilitary uun Afghanistan" liad been coinpldetl (seeccordingly. Ito conclude Intelligence Couiimiiiitt had warned llicrcluotion developing in Afgliamitiu tlut could be "of maior irnrprartaaare lo lire iccurity of llie United Stales" and had met the basic requirement not to allow tlw national Kaderdup Io be iut tinted

ltc pcrfomutKV of tl* Cotnmurirtv wiih regard lo mcctirig the Standard lor glviirg Strategic Wanting is less clear Ahltraagh inlcL'agciare warned that lauitttrcars military preparations had 'cen comparfol bv Sovart forces, tt did not warn 'nf llie unlialion ofi-agjiivst the United States oi in which US forcesince il Ls not within lhc province of the Intelligence Community lo judgr; whether US forces will become involved in foreign liostililMa, it can be argued llial il wouldeen presumptuous to issue aIn any case, it seer us ataparen)ractical maltcr that In tlie Afghanistan nlualionarning would have been iitapproprialiT

ccording to tho definition of Tactical Warning provided by. II is evident lint notification llrat tltc enemy has initiated hoslihucs" was riven in tnlel hgence; reporting onucernlxf and in tlie Alert Memorandum publislied miame day. Tlw itatcirlial impact of this warning was diminished somewhat,er, since live full scope ofwas ccctirriu! was not clear until four days lalci

s was noted earker. the Defense Departmentand spccifac aajangatjMMaj (or warning such warninged

o so it would hive had lo "clearly eonvev lo natacoial

dccauotwiukcri and nabury ennmandersountry irUends lo Lunch annd. "in lhe eaicnt

inchrde an raliinalc of wlrcn, where, and wnh wluihc factarning nf this soil was not given

was dueumlicr uf factors lliellial since thc Soviets did not eapccl lo(on. thev did nd tile all the preparatoryreeledn" fk*lecd mvasion andnot provide all lliewAto furnish the level of sptviTicitv ixqtilrod hvnf warning nf altick It is abo relevant in- of arrjlyits on llie qua lily ami rpuntrh of

ihe inform sunn the* arc iwiwvsed and to observe thatli* fi>iiM. Hi Afglunolanlimitod tu tliosc available in Kurotc

inally, it islo understand lhatits broadest sense involve* nm only thc USato lire nil .oralOre warms, ll isliar

credibility of tlie evidence and tlae engency of tlie aecom-lianying analysts provided by the Community thatwhether tlwy will act, and liow. More directly, miclligci Cv cm give It thinks if adequate waraiitag. lull nrilrM lice who arc warned, "thenider-Stand tlw wariurag and ihcade tn lake action or not. the effort to warn lias acceatiiilidied nothiiig. During tlie late fallhe IrOstagc siluation in Iran was thc maior foreign crim affecting tlw US Covenitncnt As was noted earlier, many of tlie preliminary Snicl actioni in lireMD were uiterpretcdtiirgcncy moves in cascSventure against ban In addition to Iran, operations in support of idiigccs in Southeast Asia were alsoreat deal of altcnlion, particularly with Ihc )oint Clucfs of Staff.

escale these competing situations, tie majority ol cccisieaimakers aprparenlly (eh llrat the flow ofduiing tl* fall and caily winter9 had given them warning tliat ihc Soviets couldove into Afglianistan They did not gel specific advance wordk- Soviet intention to introduce stgitificant forces but, wiih tic previous retorting, were not surprised when thc initial warning of an imminent major Soviet move wars given by NSA ont did appear tlut thc key Half ofliccrs of mail dccisionirukcft teliod on llieir own review of individual SIC1NT and IMINTlo dctiinunc dal tire Soviets wen: gelling ready toi tiro anddata by theagciicics were used to confirm what ihey haduiiclialed

erapliealiom lor Warning in Other Theater*

he lessons Icamesl about the peifotmancc of the US IAW rytfcm with respect lo lhe invasion of Afghanistan mar prove to be diicrlly amicable onlr lo thai oitericncc It is possible, hnwever, ihit ihey may have implications for the system's rapacity lo detect threatening events in Other thcalcn and lor lhe Own iniinitv'i ability lo provide warnine ol well moves. The following par.igiaphs .Jeal with these subsccts.

Western Europe

he Intelligence Community has estimated* lhal Ihe Warsaw Pad could attack: lhe NATO Centralwith two frontsilium of four days of preparation. Moreover, it is estimated lhat under these circumstances, NATO would Iiave throe days' warning This attack option is nut considered likely, however, mainly because command echelons and sun-port forces would not lie adequately prepared ll is also estimated that the Warsaw Tact could attack with three fronts after eight days' preparation and. in this case, thai NATO would have seven days of warning ll the Warsaw Pact attacked with five frontsays' preparation. NATO ptubably would haveays of warning.


was given well before the move into Afghanistan ll Is reasonable lo assume that In preparingsr in Euioce. ihe Warsaw Pact's activities would be so extensive and unusual f_

"filial llie

Afghanistan operation gives us no reason io doubt thcressed in8 lhat indicalors ol Warsaw Pact pteparationi for combat versus NATO would be available lo llie United Stales shortly after thev started and lhat NATO would bc warned of the increase in Wanaw Pact military capabilities sbotlly thereafter.

he Invasion of Afghanistan was so different from what is eipectod of lhe USSKuropean operation that it provides no grounds to change the estimates eilher ol Warsaw Pact attack options or of the US ability lo provide warning of the preparations lor such operations In comparison with an invasion ul NATO, llie move into Afghanistanmall-Kale operalion As opposed to thcoviet and Eastdivisions plus the army and front organization* which would be brought up to full combat 'cidincssive-frool move against NATO's Central "legion, lhe Soviets leadied only five divisionsewelements for lhe move inlo Afglianistan

Olher Jlieatees

n addition lo an assault on lhe NATOSoviet or Warsaw Pact ground attacks are conceivable against the following countries: Finland. Austria. Yugoslavia, Iran. Pakistan, and China. Weihai lhe Community's ability to warn of

1 The AuutaM Owl tl Stall lorol lhc Aran*. bcWna itiat lW il wt riuliii tl

.Iy Ih.

Ul II it.II SIJinn.

he mobilization of lhe Iwo Category III di' visions (at Kushka and al Termcz) was conducted over atday period with intensive activity only during the last two weeks of December. Thisuch longer period than theours estimated to be lhe minimum Sovicl requirement lorivision lo mobs lite Presumably, ho-cicr. litis requirementonly under cmcigcney conditions and (he Sovicl

V*TSacl Cam-u ia-I'tnin < *


moves into Finland, Austria, or Vugosbvia would lie essentially equivalent to iti ability to warn ol Warsaw Pad moves agaimt adjacent NATO countries. The lol lowing paragraphs assess lhe US IAW capubilily with respect to Iran. Pakistan, and China {SI


ince the invasion ol Afghanistan thc Soviets haveumber of steps to improve theof their forces in the two military districts north ol Iran. The improvements have been concentrated in equipment, in command, control, and commTintca-hons. andeaser degree in unit readiness New equipment has been introducedew units includ-ing the latest wheeled artnored persnnnel carrier, thtnd improves! surface-to-air missiles Innew communications equipment suited forin mountainous regions and for links with the Ceneral Staff has been brought in and eaercised by army and front echelons!

The pace ofthe deli"eTie> hii been c. musics with tne generally low priority wtth

winch new equipment has been introduced into these districts In general, ground forces equipment in the

Iis MD it poorer than that in other border districtsesult of tcccnt upgrading, howevci, it has become better than ihc equipment fuund in most interior military distills)

lthough thr military eapabililies of the Soviel forces located north of Ihc Iranian bordor have been Improved, they still have not reached lhe stage where ihey could initiate an invasion ol Iran without eaten sivc pieparnlions Smirt military leaders would have lo prepare invasion forces much more eatensively lor an osier at mo intu Iran lhan they did fee their imasaon of Afghanistan They would have to plan lo face an unknown level of resistance from Iranian ground, air. and paramilitary forces while they attempted to move throughifficult terrain This alone would makr the air dclcnse and engineer functions much mure


(lun they were, (oi Afghanistan and,llie prcpaiaiions for ute ol iheie forces woulfl be lhal much more apiurcnl Itcsiocs an indig-eat< ihreal lo thehe USSR would likely be forced lo preparend generallorces, al leanome dcgiec, in case tlie Weslod on ils ihreal io rciallale if live USSfl moved against Iran.

K the Soviclsalculated dre.stonnvade Iranider ccaidilions in wliich ihcv believed ihey couldlie lime, such an operation prob ably would include0ivisions and would be preceded by at least one mouth ol activity to improve lhc preparedness of lhe forces We would be able lo see much of this activity wiihattweek of ils begin-ning. and probably would interpret it as prcparatioiii for hostilities, but determining whether lhcl net "illy decided to all.ick would hc more difficult.

A Soviel decision lo seize noithwestcrn Iran probaMy could be implemented with three io fivewilhinweeks. If llie mobilisation were limitednly those units lhal would lake pail, we michl be able to providerw days or alveek of warning

f the Sovictiituation threatening iheir sccwrit* interas an imervemion in Iran by USprobably could hastilyoice of someoII-prepared divisions and launch an attack directed at seizing maior objectives in Iran, including some nn lbc Tertian Culf lilloeal, wilhin about two woolsecision to do so Wecould provide aleek, and net learnays, of warning ol such an attack


he USSH could invade Pakistan Afghanistan In order lo nVi to. an invasion force would have lo lie inobihicd md moved tliroxgh lhc Tui kcatan MO to polnliac Afghan-PakistanAlternatively, forces already engaged incould be used to tints into Pakistan In contrail kO (lac uncontested move mlooviet inva sion of Pakistan would meet with strong resistance Because of this, the Soviets wuuld need lo employ lac* lieu! air assets lo dclc.ii the Pakistani Air Forces "ltd gain air superiority en would not be commiKed in any strength unirl at least local an superiority had been athieved and biuting *ones se cured To supnotl either of tlie invasion options, tlie



Soviets would have lo assemble units drawn from the Central Asian. Turkestan, Ural, or other MDs Most units lhal could be used are normally maintained at low combal preparedrtess level* and would have io be inobihicd and probably turned before being moved. Tlieir passage Ihrougheady congested lines of commuriicaiion into Afghanistan would likely disrupt operations in that couniry. If the forces wereihcv would have to be supprsrlcd fromIiirthcr hampering operations in lhal (uuntiy. "Ihc bulk uf llie forces ahcadv in Afghanistan Cuuld be moved into Pakistan, but probably would provein number lo defeat the Pakistani aimed lorces. In addition, il the maforlly of Soviet furccs left Afghanistan, the Muslim insurgents would likely cut the Soviet Ime of communications and liberate many of the maror Afghan towns and cities.

f the Sovicls decided lo invade Pakistan, wc. believe il would take alays to mobiliie and position an invasion force nnd lhat tlie USystem would be able lo giveoays' warning of ihc increase in Soviet combat capabilities in ihis aiea If (lie Soviets decided to move the bull of their forces in AfghaniKan iulo Pakistan, they could assemble the force in aboutoays. Again, we woulddetectovemi nt and concenlralion of these forces within one or Iwu days afler il had begun


he Soviet Union has devoted comiilerablcsince (In: mid- lOGOl to building up its forces in Asia.esult, one-fourth lo one-third of lhc USSlt's ground and air lorces are now deployed there Thc bulk of ihese forces could be used in operations against China Thev arc wdl equipped, wdl trained, and, in general, already stationed along probable attack

liese forces, Itowewr, arc not kept at uieadiness Icvd as forces opposite NATO Almost one-half of llie Soil kl ground di> mom in Asialegery IIIThese forces, alone wiih army and front units, would lease lo be mubilircd bdorc being usedonflict with China. Inose divisions maintained it higher levels would also need to be flcsltcd oul I'd broughteacetime pcaliire tu full combat readinessarajorhke China, tlie USSH would likdv and woukl place its economy and mihiary forceseneral wai footing Wc believe

Sacrei Blift

USSR wouldwo lo four weeks to prepare forcesultiple-front offensive against China. In view of Ihc probable widespread indicalors of ihese

preparations, we believe warning of lhe increased miliiary capabilily in ihis area could be providedoaysoviet move inlo China.


be main finding* ea* ibenlinvasion of Afghanistan are. (a) US estimatesdoctrine for mobilization and initiationwere proved valid, thereby increasingthat the USystem is properly focusedwarning,) lhe US Intelligenceassets were adequate lo the task ofin ihb remote location at keastaysf"

lhe invasion.

Doctrine and Practice

he Soviet forces that were used in theof Afghanistan were employedanner in keeping with Western estimatesen doctrinal procedures and capabilities.umber of cases, forces were employed dillcrcmly than wouldecteduropean environment In each case, lhe dilfcrencos could bc captained by theie Afghan operation. Soviet forces were ablebn for an unopposed moveommonat the Invitationriendly Government The forces used were relatively lew in number. Tlierifle divisions were committed with their ranks filled with recently mobilized reservists using old equipment ll appeared that the Soviels believed thai all lhal was required in this case was an ad hocof newly formed and newly mobilized unils to move Into Afglianittan looyal regime in Kabul Tlic lorces used appeared to have beento this mission

the unitiue0 operation, aof obaervationi can be made about Itswith the way we wuuld eapeel liveoperate in any situation

command and control structureorgaiiiiud in accordance with doclrinalestabtishmciil ulh Army lo controlwas typical of Sovicl operational procedures.


irborne troops were used as was cipcclcd. Tliey'n aif head, provided>how of force in support of pro-Soviet elements, conducted limited combat operations against dissident fours, and pre' pued tlie way for llie introduction of ground lorces (see

iliiary Transport Avialion (VTA) forces muvcil five to sii airborne battalions, plus combatand combat service support personnel. In the suite period Iromoecember. This VTAwas carried Oul efficiently, but was conducted under nearly ideal conditions The VTA had been op-eratinc into Afghanistan for some time and had al ready established command and control facilities in the country. Tlie VTA flewermissive airfrontautical miles from its ties tuialions II did not encounter the poteniial problems with ovci flight rights, suitable landing and relucting points, aircrew latiguc, and aircraft serviceability that couldbeen caiwraenccd in opcrationt lo other more remote Third World areas. The VTAarge percentage of its assets toelatively small forcehort distance. Although this is not proofarger oncralion could not be mounted, il suc-SC'lt lhat such operations could bc mounted only In

aoscncc. oi competing requirements jnd would likely place maiimum sttcu on ibe VTA (ice

he iwo giound division* thai were moved into Afghanistan were mobilised in accordance with eipected procedures We had estimated lhal (hell* given the Opportunily. would prefer lo give ihese lypcs of units as much training as possible before ecrr.miv.hem lo battle. We continue io believe thai in an emergency Category III divisions could be mobilised and committed afterours In thistlie divisions were given al leastan for mo biliialion preceded by up toays ol preliminary preparations. Despiie this, they capcrienceddifficulties in mobitiaing Abhough the fact ihat llie cadre divisions look up toays lo mobilize does nothat they could not be mnbiNird in three days, it suggests lhal lhe combal efficiency of such units after such short preparation would be low (see paragraphs

actical air forces were increased in lhe Tor keslan MD byercent in tlie weeks preceding lhc invasion This increase seas required in pari bv llielow number and sophist leal ion of offensivenormally assigned to tlie military districtio aircrafl assigned in other border districts Despite lhe increase, the Soviets did not use their fiicd-wing assets catcrtsivefy during the invasion or immediately against NATO ihcre svould be no necessity forassivesince lhe air armies nf lite Soviet groups of forces andon-Soviet Warsaw Pact air lorces an large and welleinforcements from lhe USSR could be moved lo lhe Forward Area if neededcblivdi short time (see)

ogistic operations were in many respects dll-fcrent Iromie SovieU would do' environment In some cases, areunssianeci foiced tliese change* Soviet doctrine calls for Jinsioni to In:lh completed logistic picparalions Umis above division can be sent into combat without complete preparations. Irut arc eapected tu complete their piflparaf Ions shortly case, push-aWy because of the unopposed nature of tlie move, lhe Sonets committed both lhe divisions andh Army without complclr. preparation This situation led In mimcroiit dilficulliet and was not corrected foiweeks The Soviets were unable to use ihe mul-tiiJr supply lines called lor in (hell logistic doctnnr.

because (lie necessary roods simply did not eaiil The Soviets showed poor planning la not adjusting their supply piloritics lo suit the nature of theesult POL and ration, were in shortin ihc early days of ihe operation. Althoughwere cncounlcrcd, there was no known impact on Soviet operations because of these dif ficultiei (sec)

e believe thai Soviet operatiarit during immediately alter the invasion were earned out inlh general doctrinal and proceduralWc have noted diffcrericci in lbc details of many of the operational aspects of tin: campaign, bui believe these changes were chiefly because ofonventinnal opponent and to thenature of Afghanistan We have seen noasic procedure* that would cause us to modify our estimales uf how the USSR would conduct opcralioiisaior foe such as NATO or China


hc key organisations and acidities o' the Sovici armed forces which arc monitored lo provide indicators of increased military capabilities did ilmw enough changes in this situation to provide warning Because of lhc lackeneral ntobdiralioo and the limited nature of lhc invasion, ihose indicatoiswith placing the society and economyar looting did not become aciive In addition, indicalors of increased preparedness by strategic forces andforces not asscciatcd with llie invasion did not become active. This kack ol activity probably was bixai.seoviet judgment lhat there would be no reaction bv tkw Weal, bv China, or by an* stales in Sou III west Asia


Allhough llie nunf iiidicatois activated was small in comparison wllh what wecipcct lo observe Int ionar against NATO, it is sufficient to cainc wa-nings loued n( the in militaiy capabilities al leanays before llie invaunn(see paragraphs)

hc situatiuu -

because of its limited scope, could not be considered aIIrdgrd test ef ibe wsinnrj system ll did.ever, contain mini elements which ilhuuinate lheul lhal system.

241 The operation sliowed llul the indicator last used lo monitor Soviet iMcnaialion for warse ful tool in lielping analysis lo lollu* chances in Soviet military capabilities


dicatoii associated with militaiy lorces laxative active Polilical and economic indicator, did rant. Whereas wc would cipoct the Soviets In prepare their society ami convert their economy andt.ilion syttcmartime configuration for any mirn war. ihese slat may not he necessary tn anything lessaim conflict. In even ihr most minur mililaiy movement, however, certain imlitary steps must belou-mottiloring of indicators of militaiy activity would be essential, even if no polilical or economic indicators were active, Although political and txonomic indica ton ilinuld not bc icnoted. lhe Afghanistan experience suggests lhal their absence should noi be used as lhe basisudgment that no military actions arelated Tbe mnmioiiin; of iridtcators of military activity shmild coniinue lo bc lie foois of the USystem (see paragraphs)

2j The analysis of lhc collect nd in/or mat Mm ac-iiifBirly portraved lhe buildup in Soviet involvemrniraver 'malty de-couritrd the possibilityajor miliiary move, although unlil mid-December lOV'l such an action was comiilcrcd highlyiese assessments ptofcctcd tliat the political costs for the bonds would be loo high, that ibey would not risk their relations with lhe West, lhc passage of SALT II, and their standing In tlte Third World, particularly in India It was also estimated that Moscow would deem tlie military costs too high, lhal lhcir intervention would stiffen lhe will of the insurgrnti and dcinoralirc lhe Afghsn Army, and ihey would suffer from the iiikk loads and Iruui terrain lhal would makeby conventional forces very difficult. Although nuo. of the costs described did indeed causee USSR, when later! with the collapsetoSorkrl regime on its border, fek more compelled lo move than US analysts had estimated. Intelligence Cominu-lilly assessments did not tjivc sigriilicanl weight to thenubility of llul move until imd-Dieember whenf militaiy activity made il deal lhat lhe USSR was increasing lhe preparedness of ils forces. Even then, the idea thai the Soviels would actually pay lhc price of invading seemed SO outrageous, that itestimated thaimall force would lie cominilted Thil idea per sul ed through llie beginning id llie invasion, when tlie initial assessmctaa varwed llie airborne troops at Kabul and Uagram as merely additional security lorces (see)

he DIA Ddiny Intelligent* Status Prpurt llie only all-source warning inielligence riocument pub-lislieil daily by angency,d ibose indicalors which were active


though the DISH co-cragc of the activation of indica -tors was good, the assessment of what lhc activations rneoni was noi as impressive, merely Staling lhal the USSR was building up its forces opposite Afghanistan Judgments in other DIA reporting at the lime sverc much stronger. The three Alcrl Memorandums(I* DCI also accurately svarncd of the Soviet

boilduirr.t. too. however,ondcresilrnsled (he us* o( the Soviet lorce lha( might bc used (see paragraphs

n (he Afghanistan situation (he Intelligencepnm .mi, met the baste requirement lor warning Intelligence rcpoils had conveyed through thc summer9 thai tlte Situation in Afghanistan wasunviable, fly9 thii teportinc wanned thai the deteriorating situation could compel tlie Soviels to increase their miliiary activity in tlie country. Dy mrd-Decenibcr it was observed thil die Soviets had dramatically increased lhc preparedness ol Iheir forces in lhe Turkestan MO These activities ledcries of inielligence reports, including an Alert Memorandum onecemberhich described tho buildup and warned lhat lhc Soviets "wereforces lo conduct combat operations in(sec] By ihcfallhough the reports did not include estimates ol whan. how. or where Ihc Soviets could intervene, Ihey notedost preparations for . miliiaryin Afghanistan" had been completed (sec. Accordingly, it seems reasonable to conclude lhat ibe Inielligence Community had warned thai there was a situation developing in Afghanistan tha! could be "of major impoitaucc to llie securily of thc United States" and had met the basic requirement not to ullow the national leadership to be surprised

he definition of "strategic warning" contains thc concept that this type of warning should be issued if iherehreatUtilities "against lit United Stales ot In which US forces may becomehis ihical is implicit in thc NATO area, butud World countries il is difficult for intelligence anal*tti to determine wlicthcr or not US forces may become involved intelligence analysts are not normally awarerchard wlicther llie United States would commit forces in Tlmd World areas In the Afghanistan situai'On. analysis received no formal or informal notification fiom pohcyrnakcis that US foices might bc cnmmitled lo counter poteniial Soviet moves in ihe region estill. ihey assumed lhc

United Slates would not become involved and no Strategic warning" was issued (see

actical warning,> ndiceaior Soviet move was in progress. waiy

llie DCI's third Alert Memorandum (see paragraph

2AS No "wai ning of attack" was given. Wc had no specific Information on Soviet intention, lo move forcei across the border, nor did we know when, where, ot with whalove would come. Tliii probably was duehe remoteness of the area and to the unopposed nature of the Soviet move (see

lthough the Intelligence Community gave warning in various NID and DIN articles lhat the USSR was increasing its military capabilities opposite Afghanistan, the Icrms "warning" or "stralegicwere not used in these publications This may Iiave beenecause lhe Intelligence Community lacks specific guidelines vitelline out how and when war nine ihould be issued (sec)

"tlieell thatreceived adequate warning of lhe Sovietlhc move occurred, it was

tlie scale of thc operation wascollection against ii was limited, ats givenaster operationnot as much time might be available, butscope of lhc preparationsastlycollection capability should give NATOwarning We see nothing in the Afghanistanlhat would affect the judgments olcapabilities and associated warningS (sec

c believe thai if ihc USSR decided lo move into Iran. Pakistan, or China, it would conductof its forcesuch greater scale than the preparations it nude fnr Afghanistan. We believe these activities would come to our attention within seve.alnd lhat warning would be issued shortly thereafter (see





COMSAT Communications satellite


Command povl

DCID irector of Central Intelligence Direct

Dcfente Intelligence Note

Daily Indications Status Reitoit

CAD . C motorired rifle division (USSH)

Ccncial Staff (USSR)

High frequency (communications hnli]

HUM1NT Human .Mcllitence

Indications and warning

Imagery intelligence

Inter mediate-range balluiic missale

Longviation [USSR]

MAC Military Advisory Croop (USSR)

Mdilary diSiict (USSR)

MRHM Medium-range ballistic missilc

Motoriicd rifle division (USSR)

National Iniethcemce Dedy

President's Daily Brief

emocratic Parly (Afghanistan)

Petroleum, oils, and luuraearMt

SlCINT Sicnali inlcfligcrice

Strategic Hocfcct Forces {USSR)

Soviel Airborne Forces

Military Transport Aviation (USSn)




Original document.

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